Age Friendly Banbury and partners celebrated the UN International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) over two days. First, with a pop-up stall in Banbury Market and a face-to-face meeting of partners in Banbury Town Hall.
There was a great buzz round the Age Friendly Banbury partners Winter Warmers market stall on 30th September. Visitors to the stall were given free goody-bags of information from partner organisations, with information, advice and activities collated and produced by Cherwell District Council. Residents were asked for their thoughts and ideas on what would make Banbury an even better place to grow older. Responses collected on our logo-flowers have been shared with the Age Friendly Banbury partners and we are asking partners to add their updated thoughts to these.
At the stall, we also gave away hot tomato soup to promote the next Winter Warmers initiative from The Hill. Several lucky visitors received ‘Circles of Kindness’ vouchers from Nothing But Footprints, and Stylus pens from Visit Banbury CIC. A great way to spread the word about all the partners and find out what local residents think about the town.
The Banbury Town Hall event, on Friday 1st October, was hosted by Sir Tony Baldry, with guest of honour, Imam Monawar Hussain, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. Over 20 partner organisations gathered to share and celebrate their creative initiatives enabling older residents, through the use of technology, to continue to receive support and services during lockdown. This tied in with the UN theme for IDOP this year of Digital Equity for All.
Sir Tony, who as High Steward of Banbury convened the Age Friendly Banbury project in 2018, opened the event, thanking the Banbury Town council for their hospitality once again and remarked on his pleasure that this was the first such gathering possible for over a year. The event highlighted the many and varied responses to delivering services and opportunities that partners had developed.
Monawar (who gathered this group shot for his social media!) described the impact of technological change on family and work life and said that accessing technology had become as necessary for everyone regardless of age as the television and telephone. Partners were leading in finding ways to empower older people to use technology safely and confidently. He thanked everyone involved “for all they do to make Banbury a welcoming and friendly place for all our citizens.”
He also congratulated the latest businesses and organisations to adopt the Age Friendly Banbury Pledge. Bee Myson, Age Friendly Banbury co-ordinator, explained the benefits for signing up to the Pledge and the support available to do so, encouraging all the partners and attendees to formally adopt and promote their support for being age friendly.