October 2013

Monthly Highlights – October 2013

Latest members

The Alliance now has 1,711 followers on Twitter and the number of organisations who have now joined us as Alliance Members is 474

In fact we have had a bumper month with more new members joining than in any single previous month. Rather than attempt to list them all here, why not visit our member’s page.


In October we celebrated International Older Peoples day

Older People’s Day- 1 October 2013


Each year Older People’s Day gets bigger and better and this year was no exception as we saw it taken to another level!

Activities and events to celebrate Older Peoples Day 2013 were held throughout the UK, varying from shorter half–day events to month long festivals offering many different and often on-going, opportunities.  As well as all the fantastic celebrations and events we also worked with Fire and Rescue Service. On Older People’s Day there was the biggest co-ordinated home fire safety drive ever seen in the UK. We also linked up with a Ping Pong Campaign for Older People’s Day.  It helped organisations run an event by screening the Ping Pong film, and their packs encouraged people to have a go at table tennis- Ping Pong even organised a world record attempt! We also attended the Young at Heart Show at the Alexandra Palace, London where we promoted Older People’s Day and Age Action Alliance.

This year the measure of success for Older People’s Day was the amount of media coverage it received.


@olderpeoplesday was launched mid February 2013 – to date, Older People’s Day has 2,081 followers.


The website was launched mid February 2013.To date, the website had 22,675 visits and 66,887 page views. Older People’s Day now has its own themed page on our website. Click here to view.

Media Coverage

To date, Older People’s Day was featured in 172 articles in the press, numerous mentions on the radio and received television coverage – AOL, TalkTalk, Irish Central, Yahoo, Dailymotion and Eurosport. The Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb MP, promoted Older People’s Day and appeared on Nick Ferrari’s Breakfast Show, LBC 97.3FM.  This radio show has a weekly audience of over a million listeners and currently runs weekly Call Boris Johnson and Call Clegg phone-ins.The Minister also launched the South Gloucestershire Older People’s Campaign on Older People’s Day which attracted significant media interest. The Older People’s Campaign, was to raise awareness of the support available from the public and voluntary sectors for older people in the area to enable them to live independently for as long as possible.


  • First Alliance Network Meeting

October also saw the First Alliance Network Meeting – designed to give Alliance members a chance to meet and learn about the opportunities that the Alliance presents. Attendees were provided with a brief history of the Alliance and of some of its successes to date. Then Tony Watts, Alliance Partnership Development Group member, and chair of Alliance member the SW Forum on Ageing gave a personal view, saying that by connecting people and allowing people to find new synergies a huge amount can be achieved within the Alliance – far more than by anyone working on their own.

Members then had the opportunity for “Five Minutes of Fame” in order to either share some good practice, put a call out for help to start a project, or offer expertise in a particular area. Contributions were received from University College London, the Mental Health Foundation, Hampshire County Council,

The Extra Care Charitable Trust, the Institute of Education, Age Inclusive Ltd, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Dementia Pathfinders Community Interest Company, Transport for All, University of the Third Age, and Paying for Care.

We are pleased that five member organisations have offered to hold similar events around the country in the coming months.


Information and Activity by Alliance Theme

It’s been a busy month for the Alliance working groups.

  • Transport

The Alliance’s Transport Working Group sought members’ views on the use of mobility scooters as part of consultation on behalf of the Department for Transport and University College London. This consultation is still ongoing so visit the Transport Group’s theme page if you want to get involved.

  • Digital Inclusion Group (DIG)

Although DIG last met towards the end of September the minutes of their last meeting were published last week. This plus a range of new downloadable resources can be viewed on the Group’s them page. Click here to view.

  • Safe, Warm Homes and Public Health and Active Lifestyles Working Groups

Similar to DIG the minutes of their last meetings can now be viewed on their respective pages. For details of the Big Energy Saving Network read the minutes of the Safe, Warm Homes Group, while if you are interested in the work of Public Health England or want to know how Ping Pong helps keep people active visit the Public Health and Active Lifestyle page.


In October we posted a number of really interesting updates from our members.

Here are but just a few:

In week commencing 21 October.

The Alliance Money Matters Working Group is looking into producing a signposting document containing links to reputable organisations offering help to older people about financial issues.   It would list relevant organisations, their contact details and offer a description of the sort of advice and support available. If Alliance members have suggestions about which organisations should be included, please let Jonathan Bailey know: (jonathan.bailey@dwp.gsi.gov.uk‘.)

  • Channel Four’s flagship current affairs programme Dispatches got in touch.

“We’re currently putting together a Dispatches which is scheduled for transmission in early December.  I’m contacting you in the hope that you might be able to help by putting me in touch with people who are former hospital patients who have experience of being readmitted to hospital: ie within 30 days of being discharged following treatment, they’re in again.  We’re hoping to interview people for a film we’re making about the pressures facing Accident and Emergency Departments.  I appreciate that there will be lots of privacy and consent issues when it comes to approaching people on our behalf and potentially putting us in touch with them.   Perhaps the best approach is for you to pass on this email, or just my contact details and then it is up to them to get in touch with me if they’re interested. In the meantime, if you’d like any more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Many thanks for your help with this, it’s much appreciated.” Jane can be contacted at Ninelives Media. Tel. 0161 832 2007. Mob. 0780 372 4278

In week commencing 14 October.

  • Digital Inclusion, Energy and Older People

NEA’s Research Team is undertaking a new piece of research for DECC, into digital inclusion, energy and older people (England only). The research aims to examine how older people (aged 55+) currently use the internet, if at all, how this might vary between different sub-groups and the extent to which the internet is currently used to access advice and support on matters relating to domestic energy – in particular energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes, switching or managing energy accounts online.  The research involves:

1)  A short questionnaire with older people (aged 55+). The questionnaire will be postal (freepost returns), with the option of online completion.  Field work is expected to commence late October/early November and run until early December.

 2)  Group interviews with older people – similar to a focus group in format, respondents to the questionnaire that express an interest will be invited to take part. These will be clustered based on the location of interested respondents, but we are looking to focus on the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire areas and possibly one other area depending on the location of respondents.

 3)  A brief online survey with frontline agencies and older people’s service providers to establish if and how service providers engage with older people online or offer support on accessing the internet and what the successes and challenges have been.

For more information on the research, how you can get involved or to forward relevant literature please contact helen.stockton@nea.org.uk

In week commencing 7 October,


In October we also posted a number of really interesting blogs covering subjects as varied as Loneliness and Isolation, gadgets to assist with Dementia, a film premier and Equity Release. Here is an extract from a blog from the Electrical Safety Council.


  • The Electrical Safety Council’s research on the recall of electrical products

Did you know that around half of all fires in UK homes are electrical, with the vast majority (85%) of them linked to electrical appliances? And that research suggests there are millions of dangerous products still in circulation, due to a worrying low recall rate?

Over the last year or so, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has been running a Product Safety Campaign, highlighting the problem of recalled electrical products – and the fact that people often don’t respond to recalls, despite the danger they can represent. With 266 electrical products recalled from the beginning of 2007 to May 2013 (and with manufacturers often producing hundreds of thousands of units) there are likely to be millions of dangerous products threatening safety every day.

Britain has, in general, a good safety record but there are still a significant number of deaths and accidents linked to electrical appliances. Each year, these result in 45 deaths from around 17,000 domestic fires and up to 45,000 hospital admissions.  Government figures also show that domestic fires kill more people over 60 than any other age group.

Product recalls are usually issued because of a design or manufacturing fault but they can also occur through misleading labelling or supply chain issues.  And, as recent news reports have shown, they can occur with even the most responsible of businesses.

However, the issue of low recall rates isn’t simply due to manufacturing or industry problems. Our research has shown people’s lack of interest and underestimation of the danger of recalled products impacts significantly on the success of a recall.

If you have a ‘problem’ electrical product, which you think might have been recalled, the ESC has developed an online tool to help.  Go to www.esc.org.uk/recall and enter the model number, brand name, or description of the item. If the product has been recalled, we can advise on what to do next.

To see the full list of member’s blogs click here.


  • Photography Competition

And finally we could not possibly end this month’s update without drawing attention to our photography competition.

We are delighted to announce details of our first ever photography exhibition – All About Ageing.  Attitudes to ageing remain a huge challenge for our ageing society as ageism remains one of the last non-taboo prejudices.  60% of older people in the UK agree that age discrimination exists in their daily lives and 76% believe the country fails to make the best of the talents and contribution older people have to make.  It’s also about respect, dignity and fairness.  Many of the images we see in the media depict older people as frail and vulnerable or at the other extreme undertaking some extreme sporting challenge.

The aim of this competition is to generate positive images of ageing which challenge stereotypes of older people and support the active involvement of older people and Alliance members in developing these.  Planned to coincide with UN Older People’s Day, it is hoped that older people and others of all ages will use the competition as an opportunity to capture some really diverse images under the following categories:

  • Celebrating Age – Recognising older people’s contribution to society
  • Diverse Ageing – Improving attitudes to ageing across society
  • Mind the Gap – Skill sharing and knowledge transfer across age groups
  • Digital World – Encouraging digital learning and inclusion
  • Ageing Themes – Images linked to the Age Action Alliance themes

The deadline for entries has been extended until 30 November 2013 to encourage maximum participation. The winners will now also be awarded prizes, thanks to an offer of support from Alliance member, Ostrich.  Prizes include photographic and computer equipment, with the overall winning picture being used in a national advertising campaign to celebrate the work of the Age Action Alliance. Alongside donations to groups or charities of the winners’ choice, that work with older people.

All winning entries will be included in an All About Ageing Photography Exhibition called “No Negatives” which will exhibit in towns and cities across the UK with the overall winner published in a national newspaper.

All Alliance members will be able to use the images to promote action to improve later life in partnership with others.  We are particularly interested in images that challenge stereotypes, capture positive aspects of ageing, surprise or entertain us and which can be used to support the work of the Age Action Alliance network.

To enter, please refer to the Terms and Conditions now available on the Alliance website.


Age Action Alliance Secretariat.




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