WORK to support and champion older people in Tameside has been shared to benefit other areas.
Tameside Council hosted a meeting of the Local Authority Elected Member Older People’s Champions Network for the North West. The Elected Member Older People’s Champions encourage active, independent and healthy lives for older people and raise the profile of older peoples’ issues. The event on January 30 saw Councillors from across the North West, partner agencies and dignitaries, including Civic Mayor Councillor Denise Ward, gather at Stalybridge Civic Hall to hear about the work taking place across Tameside to champion Age Friendly Communities. Information was shared about projects across the public and voluntary sector that are working to make Tameside a great place to grow old. This work enables older residents to feel connected again within their communities, valuing the contributions they make. Age Friendly Communities is about how together we create environments where older people are respected, recognised and included and how we provide appropriate and affordable housing, transport and facilities.
People attending had the opportunity to network before a presentation on good practice by Tameside Council and Action Together. Older people representatives and project leads attended to highlight their work, including projects that create Age Friendly Communities and intergenerational activities that older people can take part in and lead. Projects featured included the “Take a Seat” campaign, where shops in Tameside offer older people somewhere to rest to encourage them to stay physically and socially active and confident about leaving their homes. Tameside Council is also amongst the first in the country to offer Dementia Friends Sessions to new taxi driver applicants that raise awareness and give them advice on how to support vulnerable passengers. Tameside Council has also highlighted the tremendous contribution from older people, such as the Greenspace volunteers who have given up their time to help keep the borough clean and green for more than 40 years and continue to do so.
Tameside Council’s Older People’s Champion, Councillor Margaret Sidebottom, said: “It’s important that older people have a voice in their community and are supported in leading active and healthy lives. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to showcase some of the wonderful work happening here in Tameside to achieve this and hope this will inspire other areas to do likewise.”
The Network consists of members from across the North West, who are chosen by council leaders. It promotes and highlights good practice and lobbies Government to improve the lives of older people across the region. It’s nationally recognised as a key regional organisation working to support and protect older people.