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Cllr Asher Craig Key Note Speech

6 Jul 2017

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. Cllr Craig presented the Key Note speech welcoming the launch. Click on the video to watch it ir scroll down to read her speech.


Age Friendly Charter for Bristol

Bristol is committed to becoming an Age Friendly City, and I am thoroughly delighted to be here to today at to celebrate the work of communities, organisations and individuals in making the city more age friendly.

A growing number of cities and communities worldwide are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. The World Health Organisation’sGlobal Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide.

Cities and communities with this are of different sizes and are located in different parts of the world. Their efforts to become more age-friendly take place within very diverse cultural and socio-economic contexts. What all members of the Network do have in  common is the desire and commitment to promote healthy and active ageing and a good quality of life for their older residents and Bristol is no different.

Life expectancy is increasing at the rate of over two years per decade, and the percentage of the population over 65 years is projected to double over the next forty years. By 2030, two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, and 25% of this population  will be aged 60 and over.

The population of Bristol is projected to increase by 10.4% to 488,500 by 2024 and will potentially rise to over 545,000 by 2039. Amongst older people, there are project to be 7,700 more people aged 65 and over by 2024 a 13% rise and potentially 44% rise by  2039, for people aged 85 and over we project an 84% rise, given those projections it becomes even more imperative for us to become an age friendly city. I’m sure you all agree that a city that is good for older people is good for everyone.

A growing population, that is living longer, however comes with its challenges as well as great opportunities. Older people today are healthier, more socially engaged and more productive than ever before. They can contribute massively to the economy, community life, volunteering and civic participation. In Bristol we want to create the environment older people need to make that contribution long into retirement.

Being an age-friendly city is more than a badge, it is about how we work withcommunities to make Bristol a great place to live, whatever your age, whatever your background. Bristol is a place where you can grow older without any barriers to living a healthy  and fulfilling life. Our city relies heavily on the contribution older people make to their families, their communities and the economy. Older people are a diverse group involved in a wide range of activities including; seeking employment, caring for family members,
volunteering, taking part in lifelong learning, participating in community groups and using parks and leisure centres.

Our ambition to be an Age Friendly City goes together with our vision for Bristol to be a city in which:

• Everyone benefits from the city's success and no-one is left behind
• Where people have access to decent jobs and affordable homes
• In which services and opportunities are accessible
• Where life changes and health are not determined by wealth and background
• That leads on tackling climate change and the damaging impact of air pollution
• Which is easier to get around has has improved public transport

This a great opportunity to create an age friendly city that not just adapts places to deal with problems but encourages everyone to take full advantage of city life and living and provides us with the opportunity for Bristol to shine our light on the experiences and  contribution of older people in our city.

As partner in Bristol Ageing Better, it is exciting for the Council to be part of such a vibrant partnership with citizens and partners right across the City. Our Council officers and members work across the city every day trying to create the Bristol we want to see.

Our asset based approach to community development reflects the approach of building an age friendly city. Across Bristol people are getting together to take action on issues that interest them. Our Community Development team (an in fact all the organisations across the city particularly volunteers and VCS groups) are helping people share ideas, talents, skills, passions to make a difference to where they live.

Bristol Ageing Better has been set the challenge of developing a range of initiatives to tackle social isolation and loneliness among people over 50 in Bristol. Back in 2015 BAB started the conversation around being Age Friendly and since that time they have continued to engage older people through their services, local groups and their Older People's Partnership Board.

BAB has created the Charter for an Age Friendly Bristol to inspire long term changes that will last a lifetime and is aligned to Bristol Resilience Strategy. The Charter includes 9 visions that have been created from the opinions of older people and organisations across the city.

The Charter has a number of offers and asks and I thought it would be helpful to explain what Bristol City Council has been doing to improve the city for older people. Way back in 2013 the then Mayor George Ferguson launched the vision for older people in Bristol , in 2014/15 we engaged with a series of workshops & contributed to the publication of two papers that were published – towards the All Age Friendly City and a Manifesto for All Age Friendly Cities; the Council led on the submission of the Expression of Interest for the Bristol Ageing Better partnership which resulted in £5.9 millions of Big Lottery Funds being awarded to the project. Age UK were appointed lead organisation and the Older People’s Partnership Board were actively involved during each stage of the application proxies. In 2015 we organised the Age Friendly Conference.

As one of our corporate strategy objectives we committed to becoming an all age friendly; whether WHO Age Friendly, Dementia Friendly or UNICEF Child Friendly, bristol will be a city that is welcoming (City of Sanctuary) and a great place for people of all ages to live. A range of officers from across the authority continue to be involved with BAB in this work and BCC is now a member of the UK Network of Age Friendly Communities, one of 11 national networks affiliated to the WHO Age Friendly Network.

Our relationship with BAB and partnership working is very positive and reflects the future model for the council in which we work with partners to achieve shared priorities.



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