Vale of Glamorgan becomes the latest to join the World Health Organization’s Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.

Members of the Vale network during a meeting. In October the Vale of Glamorgan received news it had become the fourth local authority area in Wales to join the WHO’s Global Network, recognising the work to date and ambitions under the Age Friendly Vale programme. The Vale’s Age Friendly Officer has taken forward this work on behalf of the Public Services Board (PSB) building on the Age Friendly Vale Charter and highlighting the PSB’s commitment towards supporting people of all ages to live and age well in the county.  

Following the news, the Vale of Glamorgan became the first Welsh Age Friendly Community to present a showcase at the WHO’s ECHO Mentorship Programme, providing an international platform for highlighting how the Age Friendly agenda is developing across the Vale in the context of a diverse authority with both urban and rural areas and Wales’ second largest projected population increase of those aged 50+ by 2039.

The status reflects the work already underway in the Vale including the establishment of the Age Friendly Vale Network, who are working together to develop a draft Age Friendly Vale Action Plan. The Network has expanded to over 100 members following a workshop with partners and community members in October, hosted by the Chair of the Vale PSB, and Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Lis Burnett, and Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Older People’s Champion Cllr Belinda Love-luck Edwards. 


In addition to this more strategic work, the Age Friendly Officer has built strong community connections which has led to a range of local activities being supported and established. These include the formation of the ‘St Athan Strollers’ developed in partnership with local third sector group ‘Valeways’ and the Vale Council’s Healthy Living Team. Following a successful pilot, the rural walk is now a regular fixture further supported by complimentary refreshments provided by St. Athan Community Council. 

Particularly strong relationships have been built with the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum whose 280+ members recently celebrated their 20th anniversary in a well attended Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM follows a successful community programme with engagement, advice, and social events throughout 2023. Work to ensure the Forum membership continues to grow and provides a voice for older people across the Vale which in turn is helping to shape the Age Friendly Vale work, is ongoing.

On 6th December the Age Friendly Vale Team, Older People’s Commissioner, local partners and stakeholders including members of the public are invited to celebrate the Vale joining the WHO’s Network in Llantwit Major. Alongside the celebrations there will be an opportunity to shape the Age Friendly Vale Action Plan, engage with advice and support organisations and enjoy performances from the Llantwit Manse Ukelele Band and Ysgol y Ddraig pupils.

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