Barnet Council and Age UK are on a mission to become a fully-fledged ‘age-friendly’ borough. Pictured at Silver Sunday extravaganza in Middlesex University on 1 October.

Barnet Council and Age UK are launching a mission to become a fully-fledged ‘age-friendly’ borough with a series of fun-filled activities for the over-50s to mark Silver Week.

The celebration began yesterday (1 October), on Silver Sunday, with a free event at Middlesex University. Other events and activities will follow throughout the week – including singing workshops, Pilates sessions, walking and other social gatherings, and a pottery class. Learn moreExternal link.

Cllr Gill Sargeant, Age Friendly Barnet Champion, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Age UK Barnet on this initiative, and to be hosted by Middlesex University for what was a great launch event on Silver Sunday attended by a wide range of organisations.

“It was a lovely way to kick-off Silver Week, and we look forward to hearing the views of how people want to age well in Barnet, building on all the work done so far.”

The ‘Age Friendly Barnet’ mission is led by Barnet Council and Age UK, which the local authority has funded to support the work. They are encouraging everyone and every organisation to get involved in the movement – please email [email protected]External link to become a part of it.

Cllr Paul Edwards, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We want everyone to be able to age well in a borough they live in and love. We recognise the integral role of older people in the life of the borough, and we want to make sure Barnet is a place where they can be healthy and happy.”

Barnet recently joined the UK Network of Age-Friendly Communities, and the council commissioned Age UK to conduct the Age Friendly Barnet survey, which received more than 1,000 responses.

Pippa Mannerings, Age-Friendly Barnet Coordinator, said: “We are so pleased with the response rate from our survey. We are beginning to see a picture of what it is like to grow older in Barnet. We are keen to ensure that the voices of older residents are at the heart of every step of this project, so having this foundation is a great start.”

The survey showed 78% of over-55s in Barnet can access green spaces at least once a day, while 60% say there are enough fun, affordable social activities for them. It also highlighted some social disparities – for instance, 69% of white British residents felt safe while alone outside, compared to just 44% of BAME respondents.

It identified a correlation between confidence in using digital technology and being socially active, feeling safe while alone outside, and being confident to spot financial scams.

The survey results will now go through various public consultations before the Age-Friendly Barnet Action Plan is produced in 2024.

Leave a Reply