We were delighted to welcome HRH Duchess of Cornwall to Banbury on Wednesday, shining a light on its bid to become an age-friendly town. As part of her visit, the Duchess was presented with the newly commissioned Age Friendly Banbury badge by co-ordinator Bee Myson.
Age Friendly Banbury is a partnership between local organisations with an interest in making Banbury an age-friendly town. It brings together older people, community leaders, local charities, businesses, and local councils. An age-friendly community is a place where people of all ages are able to live healthy and active later lives. Increasing awareness of the partnership will bring us closer to the objective of making Banbury a great place to grow older.
One of Her Royal Highness’s key focuses is Active Older Age – encouraging and inspiring an older generation to keep fit, active and engaged, tackling the isolation and seclusion that many older people face. The Duchess is President of The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) – an organisation dedicated to helping older people stay active, and to feel valued and independent. Her visit took her to the RVS Cornhill Centre in Banbury.
Partners in Age Friendly Banbury include The Royal Voluntary Service, the local authorities, Banbury businesses, Visit Banbury, Citizens Advice, Age UK Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Community Foundation as well as The Mill Arts Centre, and Katharine House Hospice among others.
Together with local older residents the partners are working to address the concerns and priorities expressed in consultations. These include improving the amenity of the town centre; promoting the range of activities available; improving the transport provision which affects every activity; and encouraging access to well-being and community services.
Over the next 3 years, the Age Friendly Partnership will work towards achieving World Health Organisation Age Friendly status and hopes to be one of the first towns in the country to be recognised for this achievement.
Bee Myson, Age Friendly Banbury co-ordinator, said: “We will be encouraging businesses and organisations to adopt an Age Friendly Pledge and ensure their services meet the standard determined by local residents. Older people will find that in time there are more facilities available to them in Banbury, and that services and businesses are more age aware and hospitable to older customers. We will improve the information about and access to activities and services.”