June 2013

Welcome to this month’s highlights from the Age Action Alliance.

Alliance Membership Latest. The Alliance now has 1,162 followers on Twitter and the number of organisations who have now joined us as Alliance Members is 371New members this month include:


  • Age UK Stockport
  • Music in Hospitals Scotland
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Richmond Villages
  • Big Society Penwith
  • Extracare charitable trust
  • Centre for Ageing & Biographical Studies (CABS)
  • Men in Sheds Shropshire
  • Age UK Swansea
  • Age UK Darlington
  • Equality North Homes
  • Methodist Homes
  • National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO)
  • Nottingham City Council
  • IMAGO arts
  • In Safe and Caring Hands
  • Link Line
  • Mature Marketing Association


Opportunities for members

  • Alliance membership continues to grow and we look forward to working with you to improve older people’s lives, together in partnership.  As a member, there are opportunities for you to share your success stories; find out about information and opportunities for action under news updates; you can share your latest thinking for the blog and send us your photos and stories to reflect the diversity of our members.  All ideas welcome!  Please contact the Secretariat.


Alliance support for Dublin Declaration


The Silver Line gets onboard

  • Esther Rantzen, founder of Children’s Line, joined a well attended meeting of the Loneliness and Isolation group to discuss plans for a national helpline for older people.  She shared stories from people who contacted her when she wrote about her own experience of loneliness, after her children left home and she was widowed.  Some people, she explained, would not feel their concerns were serious enough for The Samaritans, but the Helpline could offer much needed support to someone living with dementia in the family.  As acknowledged, it will be important that The Silver Line does not duplicate or take resources away from existing support to older people.  The Alliance provides a perfect vehicle to help ensure that a new national helpline helps join up existing support services.


Spotlight on Alliance Members’ Matters

  • The North West Age Action Alliance are considering commissioning research into people’s experience of caring for relatives at a distance.  This is becoming an increasingly difficult issue for a number of people, as families are so widespread now, that it is often problematic to care for sick/elderly relatives when you are not living in close proximity.  If you are aware of any research that has been carried out in this field, information that is available, or have any experience yourself – anecdotal or otherwise, Viv Gee vivgee20@gmail.com, would like to hear from you.


  •  “Window on the World – IT and Older People” : This video was made by the Wholemeal Media Company for the South West Foundation on behalf of Alliance members the South West


  •  Forum on Ageing and the South West Seniors’ Network for showing at the South West Seniors’ Assembly on May 29th, 2013. The main topic for this conference was social inclusion in regard to older people and one of the aspects of this was the role of the internet and IT in general in helping to combat the isolation of older people. Click on the link to view this short film: http://vimeo.com/67348033


  •  Channel 4 and Plum Pictures would like to share the following opportunity with Age Action Alliance Members:“We want to bring together a group of talented retired people who can use their skills for the benefit of their community, and prove that a life time of skill and experience doesn’t suddenly vanish at retirement. We are looking for those people who want an opportunity to put their talents to use, and get involved in an exciting new project. Each episode would focus on a different vocation. We would be hugely grateful if you could pass this information on to anyone who you think might be interested. We’d love to hear from them, and any other volunteers you work with. From Catering to Gardening, DIY to Hairdressing, it doesn’t matter what people have done for a living they can all be a part of ‘The Agency’. We are not only looking for people who are active in retirement but also people who are more vulnerable, who might need an exciting new project to get involved in. Essentially we are creating an employment agency for retired people.  We would be hugely grateful if it was possible for the attached flyer to be circulated. For contact details click here.


  • Alliance member The Campaign to End Loneliness has published the results of a review into 152 health and wellbeing boards across England, and has identified any early progress being made to combat loneliness in older age. Every published Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS), a total of 128 documents, was gathered and analysed by the Campaign to End Loneliness and Charities Evaluation Services. Each strategy was awarded as Gold, Silver or Bronze standard depending on the level of commitment made to tackle loneliness. If there is no recognition that loneliness is an issue for older people, it was awarded ‘no place’. Headline findings include:
  • 61 of the 128 JHWSs indicated that the local boards had at least acknowledged that loneliness or isolation was a serious issue for their population.
  • 8 of these 61 boards were considered to be ‘gold’ standard as they commit to measurable actions and/or targets to address loneliness in older age/all ages.
  • But we also found that 67 areas – over half of all health and wellbeing boards with a published strategy – are ignoring the health risks of loneliness, as their strategy contains no commitment to measuring or prioritising the issue.

A three page introduction, the full results our research with CES and a collection of successful campaigning case studies can be found on their website here.


Coming Up


The Alliance Partnership Board will meet on 15 July and the Communications Group will meet on the same day.  More information in July’s roundup.


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