Power to the (older) people

By David Gledhill, Marketing and Communications Officer

Exciting times here at Ageing Well Torbay as we roll out our plans for an over 50’s assembly – Torbay Over 50’s Assembly (TOFA), launch our bid for Age-friendly status and work on a positive ageing charter.

Ageing Well Torbay in its current form (funded by the Big Lottery Fund) has just over two years of the six-year programme left to go, but there is still much work to be done, and hopefully, the work we do now will continue long after the current incarnation of Ageing Well Torbay ceases to exist.

It is essential that we do not allow the powers that be to merely pay lip service to the needs of the burgeoning population of over 50’s and who better to hold them to account than those that are aged 50 and over?

During the last two weeks, we have begun to roll out the plans that have been sweated over by a working group of over 50-year-olds over the twelve months. They know what they want, and they know how to get it, but need many more like-minded people to join them to ensure that it becomes a reality.

We are looking to create a minor revolution across the Bay and to do that we need your help. We are not asking a lot, just your knowledge, experience and enthusiasm will do for now (though we may ask a little more going forward).

We need as many over 50’s as possible to sign up to the principle of Age-friendly and the best way to do that is to sign up to receive more information about the soon to be created Torbay Over 50’s Assembly.

It may well be that your involvement ends there – you just want to be a member to keep an eye on what is going on outside your own front door or across the Bay and will only attend meetings when you have an issue to raise – and that is OK.

Or you may want to join one of the three town assemblies, that will meet to discuss what is going on in Brixham, Paignton or Torquay, safe in the knowledge that whatever comes up has the ear of those in authority

And that is the key to the Assembly – the overarching Assembly Action Group, which is also seeking members, (though this one will require an interview to ensure we have the right people with the right areas of expertise) – already has guaranteed seats on some of the most important committees and organisational bodies in the Bay and that means your voice is heard where it counts.

We are not looking for would be politicians, we have enough of those of all political colours and shades of persuasion, because we are not looking to recreate what we already have. Instead, we are looking for people with a passion for making a difference to the lives over 50’s living across the Bay.

We are looking for people who care, for people that have experience, knowledge or simply interest in subjects ranging from housing to transport, from outdoor spaces to social inclusion, from health to communications. All will make a difference, not just for the over 50’s that they represent, but for everyone who lives in Torbay.

The mission is simple – to make Torbay the best place to live for everyone. Achieving it, however, will take time, and that time will extend long after this part of the Ageing Well Torbay project finishes in 2021.

That is why we are out and about across the Bay now, telling as many people as will listen about these exciting plans and I am delighted to say that the response so far has been very positive, and people are signing up to find out more or expressing interest in getting involved.

If you represent an organisation that might like us to come along and give our presentation then give me (David Gledhill) a ring on 01803 212638 or if you simply want to be kept abreast of everything that is happening with TOFA, Age-friendly Status or the positive ageing charter, then sign up here: https://ageingwelltorbay.com/tofa-contact/

The more sign up (bearing in mind the population of over 50’s in the Bay will soon top 50%) then the louder our voice will be. The revolution has begun – the over 50’s are your future and all our futures.