Age Friendly Flintshire

In May 2023, Flintshire received the accolade of becoming a member of the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Flintshire joins more than 1400 cities, counties, and communities across 51 countries around the world in being recognised as working to improve the age-friendliness in their area.  As the second community in Wales to achieve membership, along with the city of Cardiff, this supports the Welsh Government’s vision for Wales to be an age friendly nation where people of all ages are supported to live and age well and can participate in their community.

Membership was granted following the submission of a plan for developing age-friendly communities in Flintshire.  The plan provides evidence of existing age-friendly practices and identifies priorities for further actions that will be developed collaboratively with people in the community to make Flintshire a more age-friendly place.  

Flintshire’s Age-friendly Champion, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Wellbeing, Councilor Christine Jones, said:

“I am delighted to confirm our successful application for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities status. The application, coordinated by the Ageing Well team in Social Services, clearly demonstrates the extent to which the council is working with partners and communities to develop projects and initiatives that will enable people of all ages to age well.

A team from Flintshire made a presentation on Age Friendly Flintshire at the Older People’s Commissioner’s Conference 8th November 2023, Cardiff 10am – “Making Wales an Age-friendly nation: celebrating progress, building on success”.

Some Case Studies from Flintshire follow.

Age-Friendly Flintshire Case Studies

Leeswood & Pontblyydyn Age & Dementia Friendly Steering Group

The Leeswood & Pontblyddyn Age-Friendly Community Group is a group of volunteers who are committed to making Leeswood & Pontblydyn an Age & Dementia Friendly Community. One of the Group’s most significant achievements is Sunshine café, a weekly community café with a focus on reducing isolation & loneliness. The small surplus generated from the café is used to support other events within the Community. The Steering group has funded or arranged many events and activities, including: Digital tablet courses, Dementia Friends Training Sessions, Carvery, Litter Picks, Afternoon Tea, Book Swap, Intergenerational Bowling Day. A strong partnership with Ysgol Derwenfa has created opportunities for intergenerational activities including Pumpkin Soup, Lunch Club, Dementia awareness performance, History/Memories project, Green and Diverse Borders project.

Activities and groups for older people – Flintshire guide

Engagement with older people has identified access to information is a priority. Older people need access to information on a variety of topics, but in particular, information about groups and social activities is important for maintaining independence and wellbeing and feeling part of their local community.

Working with Older People’s groups, we have developed a ‘What’s on Guide’ listing the established groups, social activities, and events for older people across Flintshire.  The guide is a great way of sharing information on activities in Flintshire’s local communities. 

The ‘What’s on Guide’ is currently a Word document that’s distributed electronically through our Older People’s network which currently has more than 120 registered individuals/group contacts. It is also shared with partners offering advice and support to older people in Flintshire (e.g. Single Point of Access, statutory and voluntary sector service providers).  The Ageing Well team in Social Services plans to produce a bilingual, paper version of the guide which will be distributed through community groups and venues (e.g. community centres, libraries, leisure centres, Connects offices) to ensure those who are digitally excluded are not disadvantaged. In the meantime, copies of the guide are printed and shared with older people’s groups as part of existing engagement activity.

The guide helps to ensure older people are better informed about what’s on near them, providing opportunities to meet with others, make new friends or try something new.  With the growing level of interest in the guide, we have no doubt it is having a positive impact on wellbeing and is helping to tackle loneliness and isolation. 

Primary DomainCommunication and Information
Additional DomainsSocial participation   Respect and Social inclusion

Improving strength and balance and increasing community participation

The Covid Pandemic impacted older people’s ability to participate in their community and many have experienced a loss of confidence and a decline in physical and mental wellbeing (Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: Leave no-one behind). 

Keen to re-engage older people with their community and re-start community activities, one age-friendly group tried a number of activities to increase the confidence of the local older population to participate in the community. The group re-introduced the monthly coffee morning that had started up just before Covid, but attendance was low. Various taster activities were offered to try and generate more interest, but growth in numbers did not follow. That is until the group offered a music and movement taster session. Aura Leisure delivers music and movement sessions in Leisure Centres in Flintshire as part of the Falls Prevention programme to increase the strength and balance of people who have experienced a fall or are at risk of falling.  During the Pandemic sessions had been moved online with participants reporting that the sessions had provided a lifeline for maintaining their mental and physical wellbeing and the added benefit of social opportunities.  Aura Leisure was looking for opportunities to take sessions to local communities to improve access in rural areas. Whilst only a handful attended the first taster session at the coffee morning, feedback from participants was really positive and it was agreed to offer three sessions each month with the coffee morning taking place on the 4th week. News spread about the new exercise sessions and numbers have grown to between 18 and 20 each week. Participants range in age and ability, but all really benefit from the sessions knowing they can attend and do as much or as little as they feel able. As other community groups have restarted, there was a general consensus the monthly coffee morning was no longer needed, and Aura’s Music and Movement sessions now take place weekly.

Primary DomainCommunity support and health services
Additional Domains Social participation   Respect and Social inclusion

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