Bristol Ageing Better has taken an important step towards Bristol an even better place to grow old. On Wednesday 21st June 2017, at Central Library, BAB launched the Charter for an Age Friendly Bristol. The charter sets up 9 visions for Bristol, and cements the city’s commitment to be part of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Global Network of Age Friendly Communities. Bristol Ageing Better and Bristol City Council are committed to meeting the standards set out by the WHO and will be working together to achieve it.
The event welcomed Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member, as well as other council officers, and members from local voluntary and community organisations, and was part of the City for All Ages Week.
Councillor Asher Craig said: “Working towards making Bristol an age friendly city is a positive thing for everyone who lives here and there are things we can all do to make this a reality. Whether you’re an older person yourself, or have parents, friends and relatives who are, it is vital that everyone is able to be part of life in Bristol.
“The notion of what it is to be an older person has changed drastically in recent years and many people are now able to live active and fulfilling lives well into older age. Older people are much more to the council than social care and contribute a huge amount to the vibrancy of our city”, she added.
The charter was created after years of consultation, with older people, local organisations working within communities and decision makers. It includes 9 visions that expand on the World Health Organisation’s age friendly themes, setting out a Bristol-specific ambition.
The aim of this work is to use the process of applying to the World Health Organisation as an opportunity to consult Bristol residents about what can be done to improve accessibility for people of all ages.
Adam Rees, Bristol Ageing Better Director, presented the charter: “Achieving Age Friendly status is more than just another title for Bristol, it is an opportunity to look at the city with fresh eyes and ask ourselves, “Is this a good place to live for older people?” This charter is not just an opportunity to improve the lives of older people, but to improve the city, by accessing the fantastic resources that older people can offer Bristol.”
He added: “In such uncertain economic times, we believe that a city that is age friendly will allow people to live independently and happily in the community that they choose. The fewer barriers there are, the easier it will be to move around the city and have more opportunities for social contact.”
Judith Brown, Chair of Bristol Older People’s Forum and Deputy Chair of Bristol Ageing Better, welcomed the launch: “With changing times, new technology and a rapidly developing city, older people sometimes get left out or forgotten. It is important to consider the needs of older people and to remember that you too will be an older person one day.”
From this charter, Bristol Ageing Better will be creating an overall action plan that will capture all of the great work that is currently happening in Bristol to make it a city that is great to grow old in..
Judith Brown, also added: “When my granddaughter becomes an older person, I want her to live in a city that is easy for her to get around, that respects her for what she has done, who she is, and what she can still contribute.”