Age Friendly Banbury partners encourage return to the town centre as the team gathered in the Market Square on Monday this week.
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.
Age Friendly Banbury is a joint initiative to make Banbury a great place to grow older. There are already some great groups and opportunities for older people in Banbury, but for some older people poor transport, unsuitable housing, fear of crime, lack of community cohesion, limited care and support and difficulty finding or getting to social activities can get in the way of enjoying their later years.
The initial focus is on older people, but the vision is of a ‘Banbury for all ages’ – a friendly and more accessible town for everyone.
Following the launch event in 2018, Age Friendly Banbury is strengthening its commitment to making Banbury become one of Britain’s first age-friendly towns.
An age-friendly town encompasses both the built environment, such as housing, transport and outdoor spaces, and the social environment, such as health and information services, civic participation and social activities. In practice, age-friendly social action could include anything from befriending and activity clubs, to ‘men in sheds’ or community-owned pubs. By offering a joined-up approach to social action specific to Banbury, it is hoped that older people will have more opportunities to flourish.
Building on comments and feedback received from local people, Age Friendly Banbury will focus on the following priorities:
- Getting About – improving access to transport to help people get out and about and reduce worries about isolation and accessing basic services and shops
- Wellbeing and Community Services – improving access to services and support to help people be as healthy as possible
- Town Centre – taking action to make the town centre more age friendly, specifically by increasing seating areas and public toilets in parks and around the town centre, and encouraging local businesses to think about being more age friendly
- Getting Connected – increasing the range and accessibility of activities to tackle isolation and loneliness, providing more opportunities for people to get together, and providing information so people know what’s going on.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), by 2050 there will be more people over 60 than under 14 for the first time in human history. It is expected that the majority will live in urban areas, so the WHO is supporting age-friendly initiatives in towns and cities across the world. The Age Friendly Banbury partnership is using the WHO model to join 500 places from Derry to Dallas, in 37 countries, forming the Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC).
In the UK, there are 40 age-friendly cities, towns, districts and counties working together to share learning and promote age-friendly practices. On 3 August 2020 the Decade of Healthy Ageing proposal was adopted by the 73rd World Health Assembly. Its vision for 2030 is:
A world in which everyone can live a long and healthy life.
Banbury as part of the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities will contribute by:
- Ensuring that active and healthy ageing is seen as everybody’s business by building relationships, learning and collaboration across sectors, services and between generations.
- Ensuring that all older people are respected, listened to, and can contribute to decision making in the communities that they live.
- Embracing the diversity of older people, addressing inequalities and ageism, building more equitable places for us all to age in.
- Advocating for the physical infrastructure that meets the needs and aspirations of older people, including digital, housing, transport and public spaces.
Read the latest news and insight from the Centre for Ageing Better – a key partner of the Age-friendly Communities.
Services include food parcel delivery, online exercise and arts classes, and printed flyers signposting people without internet access to the facilities available.