Ageing Better in Birmingham is currently looking at the underlying causes of isolation within our 4 priority communities (LGBT, Carers, Sparkbrook and Tyburn) ; to reduce isolation now and to prevent others becoming isolated in the future. To undertake this work, the programme is creating a Local Action Plan with each priority community to understand the causes of isolation and to explore potential solutions; so the Ageing Better Programme is able to implement activities to address these causes.
The programme has worked with older adults and volunteers within Tyburn to begin the process of co-designing the content of the Local Action Plan. This has been achieved through community level meetings, consultations and a community survey. This information represents the initial findings of this work for members of the community as part of an ongoing process of consultation.
Initial consultation findings
Causes of isolation for older adults in Tyburn
Older people in Tyburn have told us that:
Desired outcomes for Older People in Tyburn
Key activities and solutions identified by older people in Tyburn
Solution 1: Supporting the improvement of the physical aspects of Tyburn for older people.
This solution will be focused around supporting the improvement of the physical environment within the Tyburn ward. This solution will work to build an evidence base to work with relevant stakeholders to consider further investment within the physical environment to ensure that the area is more age friendly.
The activities within this solution are as follows:
These three activities will work towards improving the physical environment, to increase residents’ confidence and feelings of safety to go out more in the area.
Solution 2: Good neighbour campaign
Outcomes 1, 2 & 3
This solution will look to undertake a Tyburn wide campaign around neighbourliness, drawing upon the best practice shown within the “Love Your Neighbour” city wide campaign.
It has been commented that feelings of mistrust of others intentions and the changing nature of communities have made households quite insular. Residents’ are increasingly less likely to know their neighbours. This campaign and activity will work to change the attitudes of individuals within the ward, to foster feelings of trust with their neighbours and encouraging neighbours to get to know each other.
A key activity will be to introduce a safe or good neighbour scheme, similar to initiatives run across the country but missing in this area. This activity will provide households with information about looking out for elderly residents and offering an opportunity to get together with their neighbours with a welcome pack/toolkit which residents can post to their neighbour as a first introduction. This will encourage individuals within communities to get to know each other but to also increase feelings of trust between people within an area. This activity will be coordinated centrally by an organisation but led on the ground by volunteers. It is the aim that this activity will become self sustaining by the end of the Ageing Better Programme.
Solution 3: Community Navigation/Organisers
The purpose of this solution is to encourage communities to integrate, share knowledge and best practice across the Tyburn ward. Community navigation has been identified as a solution by this community and is a traditional, tried and tested method of community engagement.
Ageing Better in Birmingham will look to pilot a volunteer Community Navigation scheme within the Tyburn ward, using volunteers to publicise activity that is happening across the Tyburn ward. They will use existing programme information about services and activities to ensure that members of the community are aware of what is happening locally and what activities are available for individuals to join.
The community navigators will act as a community champion and volunteers must be rooted within the communities are they are representing. It is envisages that there will be a Community Navigator or champion within each neighbourhood/community in Tyburn and once recruited will meet to share best practice and discover opportunities that promote cross community cohesion across the ward.
These initial findings will eventually form the basis of a detailed project plan through continued consultation, which will be widely published in January 2017.