Torbay Over Fifties’ Assembly (TOFA)

TOFA Logo v1 black text-01Ageing Well Torbay are working with older people and organisations across Torbay to create Torbay Over Fifties’ Assembly – or TOFA for short. This assembly will enable anyone over the age of 50 to discuss what’s important to them, and share those views with peers and friends from around the bay.

The assembly has been a key element of Ageing Well Torbay’s initial bid to the Big Lottery, and is therefore an important feature and legacy to be left behind by the programme, ensuring people in later life will have a true platform and power within Torbay, that has been negotiated with local statutory services.

Aim of TOFA: To be the voice of local people over 50 in Torbay

What will TOFA do?

  • Influence decisions regarding local services and policies so that they take into account the needs and interests of over 50’s
  • Ensure that people over 50 have the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience to improve current services
  • Provide feedback on changes to services and policies
  • To support and drive the local authority, statutory, voluntary and private organisations to achieve and maintain Age Friendly Status
  • Represent all older people across Torbay
  • Celebrate ageing and older people

What could the assembly look like?

tofa structure pt 1-01-01tofa structure pt 2-01


Age-friendly status

The assembly’s 8 focus groups (shown above) reflect the themes from the findings of the 20 Food For Thought events held across Torbay in early 2017. We asked people over 50 to share their thoughts and ideas on improving ageing which directly helped shape the future focus of the Ageing Well Torbay programme.  Analysing all the information provided, we discovered these themes aligned closely with the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Status areas for development and improvement.

We have the backing of the local council and statutory partners to become Age Friendly, and we are applying in partnership to join the UK Age Friendly Network to gain this status for Torbay.

How can I get involved?

Town Assembly Member:

  • Have your voice heard
  • Have a role by sharing local concerns, needs, suggestions and solutions
  • Use your knowledge and experience to improve current services

Become a Local Over 50’s Assembly Representative:

  • Help organise and lead these local meetings
  • Present the assembly members’ priorities and findings to the Assembly Action Group
  • Feedback to the assembly members on actions and opportunities to get involved in local focus groups
  • Ensure all over 50’s involved have clear communication

Become an Assembly Action Group Member:

  • Influence and steer decisions regarding services, strategies and policies concerning people over 50
  • Hear people’s views, thoughts, ideas and issues, then create solutions or further investigate with our statutory, voluntary and business partners
  • Be inclusive and represent all older people and their diverse needs and views

Torbay’s Age Positive Charter

  • The co-design and development of the Charter with people over 50 demonstrates the genuine commitment and buy in from Public Health, Torbay Council and our ICO to supporting and valuing the Torbay Over Fifties’ Assembly, giving it power and place to engage in decision making processes
  • The Charter includes aspirations for all voluntary, statutory and businesses to have a role in making Torbay a place to Age Positively, signing the charter entails demonstrating specific commitments and integral values


How will it make a difference?

We will have a louder voice as the assembly, and we can add it to other voices like Healthwatch or local Community Partnerships.

We have the support of the local council and statutory agencies – we have a seat on the Health & Wellbeing Board and others are following.

Where has this idea come from?

It is part of Ageing Well’s work. People over 50 said they wanted to use their skills and knowledge to be more involved in decisions about services. The assembly will be an Ageing Well legacy, continuing after the Ageing Well programme ends.

Who has been working on this?

A group of local people over 50, with some members of the Ageing Well team. There is still a lot to do, it is a work in progress.

Who is paying for all this?

Ageing Well has set aside funding to pay for the forums and Assembly to meet, such as venue & refreshment costs, and also to cover admin and publicity costs.

Who will support local people to run the forums and assembly?

Until May 2021 there is an Assembly Development worker called Jess Slade who will help co-ordinate and get systems in place, support members.


If you are interested in joining the Torbay Over Fifties’ Assembly (TOFA) contact Jess Slade by phoning 01803 212638, by emailing or by filling out the following contact form:

We also have our freepost postcards available throughout Torbay in local community spaces to fill in and send back to us if you’re interested in joining the Assembly:

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Food for Thought – Consultation project across Torbay


Food For Thought Report AWT 16pg PRINT V3_Page_01Our ‘Food for Thought’ consultation work last year provided a really good insight into what older people thought would help them to age well in Torbay.

The Food for Thought report went to the Health and Wellbeing Board who agreed to appoint members of their board to co-write a strategy/vision for ageing well in Torbay.

You can view/download a copy of the Food for Thought report here: Food For Thought Report



Big Vision event

A Big Vision event took place in Paignton on 24th January 2018, and brought together professionals, councillors and local older people to discuss what needs to be in a positive ageing vision. or strategy, for Torbay.

At the event it was agreed that an Older Persons’ Assembly would be developed, which would not only take on increasing ownership of the Ageing Well Programme, but also influence; ‘the wider services that affect people over 50 and create an age-friendly place to live, work and play’.

During the Big Vision, a small task and finish group also volunteered to co-write a positive ageing strategy for Torbay. The Assembly will be embedded within the strategy.