By David Gledhill, Marketing and Communications Lead
Exciting times. We are now just a few weeks away from the launch of the Torbay Over 50’s Assembly.
In one way it is just the beginning, but in another, it is the culmination of many months of hard work by a dedicated group of over 50-year-olds who are determined that their age group have a voice in Torbay.
We hope to see as many people as possible on Saturday, April 13th from 1 pm at Preston Baptist Church on Old Torquay Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 2RB when there will be the opportunity to sign up or learn more about the plans.
You can get involved as much or as little as you want to – you might want to simply be a member and be kept informed of progress every step of the way, and that is important because we need to be able to say that the Assembly represents as many of the over 50’s in the bay as possible.
But there are also opportunities to ensure that your voice and the voices of your peers are heard at every level of governance in the bay. The choice is yours.
You might want to help organise forums in Brixham, Torquay or Paignton, that will meet regularly to discuss issues directly affecting the health, wellbeing and happiness of over 50’s in those towns.
The forums will identify issues that are important to residents and will then decide what action should be taken – locally or at a higher level via the Assembly Action Group.
If you are interested, you could seek a position on the Action Group, which will oversee the work of the Assembly and be directly responsible for delivering on issues raised and ensuring that the authorities are listening.
Appointment to the Action Group will be via an informal interview as it is important that the right people with a broad range of interests and skills are represented.
Action Group members will, depending on their area of interest, have the opportunity to represent over 50’s on various statutory bodies including, so far the Health and Well Being Board, mental health and housing.
Over the last few month members of the working party that have been formulating the Assembly, plans have been out and about visiting groups and organisations to garner support.
Talks ranging from 10 minutes to 45 minutes have been made on more than 30 occasions, and the response has been astounding – already more than 200 people have expressed an interest.
But we need more. The bigger the representation then the louder the voice. Various statutory bodies including, locally the NHS and Torbay Council have already signed up in principle, and they have promised to sit up and take notice.
Central Government is also signed up to ensuring that the voices of older people are heard and have even appointed a Minister to tackle loneliness and isolation, which is a growing problem in the older age group.
TOFA provides that opportunity, and through an Age-friendly Charter it will ensure that aspirations for all voluntary, statutory and businesses to have a role in making Torbay a place to Age positively
And whilst the voice is of the Over 50’s, what is good for them is good for everyone, young and old alike, and the interests of the older generation are generally the interests of younger people, just seen from a different angle.
Good transport links are in everyone’s interest as is housing that is fit for purpose and outdoor spaces that are accessible for all, and a healthy living environment is essential for all age groups.
So far the response to the work being done, mostly behind the scenes, has been overwhelmingly positive, but it is now up to TOFA to take the vision forward with the support of as many over 50’s as possible.
Please don’t leave it to others; we just need you to sign up. You might not think you need it now, but you might in the not too distant future.
If you are interested in applying for a place on the Action Group ahead of the launch on Saturday, April 13th, please do drop us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. We will send you a brief application by return and interviews will take place over the next couple of weeks.
If you are unsure if or how you want to be involved, then please do come along on the day and find out more. If nothing else we can promise you tea/coffee and biscuits, but hopefully much, much more.
It is free, but we do need to be able to know numbers, so please do use this link https://bit.ly/2SMLoUb or ring us 01803 212638. Places are limited.
This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone aged 50 plus. The power is with the (older) people. Your generation needs you.
For more information about Torbay Over 50’s Assembly, view the TOFA webpage here.