At long last, life appears to be returning to normal. Caerphilly Over 50 now believe we can realistically start to plan what we are going to do in the future. Our immediate actions will be to start a recruitment campaign and have a long delayed, Annual General meeting at the end of November.
The last few years have proved exceptionally difficult for the 50+ Forum movement. A report by the Welsh Local Government Association in 2011 described the success of 50+ Forums, especially noting the diversity of their activities. The primary role given by Welsh Government at their inception was as an independent, representative organisation of older residents in their area. But Forums extended their role with the introduction a range of imaginative ideas.
Beyond the formal representation, Caerphilly Over 50 have undertaken a number of initiatives:-
- Safeguarding: presentations to sheltered accommodation residents and day centres about the nature of abuse and distribution across Wales of 22,000 DVDs
- Blue Badge Improvements.
- Scams awareness, supporting Caerphilly Trading Standards
- Intergenerational activities; supporting a local school and Poetry Together
- Annual “Share a Smile” Events
We did not let the pandemic stop us! Elvis tribute acts were arranged for 11 Care Homes across Caerphilly. Over the last 18 months we have filmed over 20, 360-degree Virtual Reality videos. 2 Care Homes have managed to show these videos to residents, and we have recently demonstrated them to sheltered home residents. Hopefully, this activity will increase as covid rules are relaxed.
We now intend to hold a long overdue Annual General meeting at the end of November. Although we have a strong and viable Steering Committee, we want to use the intervening period to attract further active members so that we can start to resource new programmes in the Spring that are likely to continue our support for Age-Friendly Communities.
Age-friendly Communities are a major element of the latest Welsh Government Strategy (Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society). The overall programme is being managed by the Older People’s Commissioner who has challenged all Local Authorities to become accredited to the WHO World Health Organisation Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities.
Caerphilly Council have recently appointed an Age-Friendly Champion, Councillor Carol Andrews, in the Cabinet and have committed to support the AFC agenda!
Councillor Andrews said “Growing older concerns everyone – especially as the population live longer. It’s important in an Age-Friendly community that we consider everyone’s views about how the place where we live gives us a space to live well as we all grow older.
In the future I hope there will be no age discrimination, that Intergenerational work will be the norm and services will take into account all ages of the population.”