A Lancashire woodland conservation project which encourages older men to volunteer was highlighted at a regional meeting of older people’s champions this week.
Council champions from across the region headed to County Hall in Preston for the AGM of the Older People’s Champions Network in the North West.
Dr Amanda Bingley from Lancaster University gave details about the woodland conservation project for men, to encourage them to get involved in volunteering – which benefits their own health and wellbeing, while also helping with local conservation.
This special event was hosted by County Councillor Margaret Brindle, Chairman of Lancashire County Council.
The network looked at and discussed a range of different issues that involve and affect older people.
Pupils from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Barnoldswick talked about their school project to help the pupils learn more about dementia and help older people who live with the condition.
And Ian Williamson-Owens, the North West manager of The Silver Line – the charity started by Esther Rantzen – explained how their free and confidential helpline benefits older people by providing them with advice and support.
Their service can particularly benefit those older people who live on their own, who can suffer from loneliness. More than half of all 75 year-olds in the UK now live on their own.
Councillor Brindle said: “We’re pleased that Lancashire has hosted this important regional network here, which looks at many of the issues affecting older people and helps to influence government policy.
“There’s a lot of good work going on across the North West, which allows the Older People’s Champions Network to share examples of the help and advice they can offer to older people across the region. We’re pleased that we could share some of the good work right here in Lancashire.”
Representatives from Lancashire included Azhar Ali, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing; and Terry Aldridge, the County Council’s Older People’s Champion.
The Older People’s Champions Network in the North West has 30 members from councils across the region. The AGM was chaired by Councillor Christine Wright from Blackpool Council.
The network was created by and is now managed by David Halpin from Ageconsulting, a consultancy based in Tarleton.
The role of the champion for older people is to work with the council leader and other senior representatives of the council to encourage active, independent and healthy lives for older people, and raise the profile of older people’s needs across the county.