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Update: Community Consultation to develop a Local Action Plan for the Tyburn Community

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:

  • There is a sense of apprehension in regards to talking and helping neighbours. There is little sense of ‘neighbourliness’ due to fear of interfering in peoples business/lives. Due to the fragmented nature of the area, people do not feel a sense of belonging to an area.
  • The structure of the physical environment is an isolating factor as the roads are fast, large and busy with little pedestrian access. This makes access across the ward difficult and unsafe for those who cannot drive or are not located near public transport.  Losing the ability to drive is an isolating factor in this community. Unsafe paving as well as lack of places to sit prevents older people from being able to get out and about in the area.
  • Poor mobility is an important cause of feelings of isolation and sometimes leads to older people in Tyburn not going out for fear of falling over. Less active older people cannot walk very far and many respondents in the consultation and focus groups also highlighted the necessity of reliable local transport as a ‘no brainer’ requirement to reduce isolation
  • Over a third of respondents suggested that lack of spouse or family members was a top 3 cause of isolation.  This is especially the case when they are not close (geographically and emotionally) to their children or grandchildren.
  • Poor local transport was seen as a real factor in increasing risk of isolation by over 1/3 respondents and residents on Castle Vale particularly mentioned the threat of losing the hopper bus which older people relied on.Parts of the estate were poorly serviced by main bus routes.
  • Many older people aren’t aware of the opportunities that are on offer in their local area or how to access them. 
  • Cost is as a contributory factor to a person’s isolation as it restricts a person’s ability to go out and nearly a quarter of all respondents to the survey highlighted it as a top 3 reason. Many older people are on very small household budgets and will not have any spare money for additional activities

 

Desired outcomes for Older People in Tyburn

  1. Increase community connections within the Tyburn ward.
  2. Increase community cohesion within the Tyburn ward.
  3. Increase neighbourliness in the area.
  4. Inspire a positive change in attitudes amongst communities 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.

Outcome 1 

 

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:

  1. To undertake a community safety audit in neighbourhood areas tohighlight potential hazards, e.g. overgrown and overhanging trees blocking pathways, is there enough seating areas for older people to take a break during walks and produce a report that demonstrates the findings and create a case for action with local stakeholders.
  2. Develop a research project which investigates the potential cost benefit savings of installation of additional safer pedestrian crossings compared with cost of falls, traffic related accidents etc and use this information to evidence a case for further investment.
  3. To research and work with BCC planning and highways departments to investigate hot spots in relation to installation of pedestrian crossing and traffic calming solutions

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.  

 

 

 

If you would like to comment on these initial findings, please email

These initial findings will eventually form the basis of a detailed project plan through continued consultation, which will be widely published in January 2017. 

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