An All-Age Friendly City Centre
We worked with a group of students from Newcastle University’s Architecture, Planning and Landscape Department to gather older people’s views and insights into what makes the city centre a good place to be.
Our report highlights some of the key issues we need to consider when planning public spaces. We shared our findings with Newcastle City Council as a contribution to the discussions on the transformation of Newcastle city centre.
Doorbells is a partnership project with Care and Repair England, Skimstone Arts and Northumbria University, funded by the Rayne Foundation. The project uses performance as a way of encouraging older people and their families to have conversations about how and where we live in later life and to seek advice about their options. A good, comfortable home is very important in later life, but we often end up in homes which are unsuited to our changing needs. In Autumn 2021, performances of ‘Doorbells: Dreaming for the Future’ were held in community venues across the city. The performances were followed by discussion groups. The insights from these conversations are currently being analysed and the findings will be used to influence policy and practice locally and nationally.
Future Homes Alliance
Elders Council is a partner in Future Homes Alliance, a partnership led by Professor Rose Gilroy of Newcastle University. Future Homes Alliance aims to deliver new homes on Newcastle Helix which are built to high sustainability standards and are flexible in their design, making them suitable for people at any age. We hope that Future Homes will provide an example of how to design quality homes for an ageing population.
We worked with Unfolding Theatre to organise outreach sessions with a range of community groups to explore initial themes around age friendly communities. Unfolding Theatre recorded conversations and facilitated creative exploratory exercises such as making a map of an age friendly community and writing a manifesto.
We then arranged a creativity week in each area during the summer. These were accessible and inclusive creative sessions that were open through the week in local community venues where participants developed the manifesto ideas into a performance using creative writing and spoken word. The performance was called Just Us.
Managing the Home Care Circus
We undertook a small-scale study into older people’s experiences of home care services. Our report gives an insight into the realities of securing good home care services that enable adults to remain at home, but with some choice and independence.
We are sharing our findings with politicians, researchers and organisations working towards improving how people receive the support to enable them to live independently. We also produced a short animation of our key findings which you can see here.