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Supporting Older People in Southwark

Over the Hill

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Once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed

– Charles M. Schulz.

Over the Hill is an SPC in which a team of older volunteers have contributed to the development of workshop sessions, challenging ageism and promoting positive attitudes to ageing. We deliberately chose ‘Over the Hill’ as a tongue-in-cheek title, to provoke discussion and provide food for thought!

Older men and women of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and with different views and attitudes, took part in dynamic and interactive sessions, contributing their ideas and experiences. We developed workshop sessions for organisations and individuals working with older people. In addition to delivering a serious message, the training sessions are lively, interactive and fun!

The people involved in the project have put together this easy-to-use guide which we hope will stimulate discussion and encourage others to develop their own sessions on ageing and ageism.

So, why have we been doing this?

We believe that a lot of the negative attitudes and stereotypical views of older people are deep-rooted in our society and in us as individuals.

It is these attitudes that lead to: poor expectations; lack of ambition for older people; poor services and discrimination, and in extreme situations, neglect and abuse.

It is essential that we continue to raise awareness of ageism and promote positive attitudes towards older people if we are truly to treat them with respect and dignity.

Older people can offer their advice, life-experience, knowledge, and make a significant contribution to society as grandparents, citizens, volunteers and employees.

Our training workshops have raised awareness in the wider community and, we hope, contributed to a shift in society’s thinking about how older people are treated and valued.

Feedback from people who attended the workshops:

  • “Really enjoyed the participatory nature of the course and discussion!”
  • “Made us think about how older people are received/perceived in our society!”
  • “Loved the course and great to have older people involved and not just talked about.”
  • “Really enjoyable sessions; they made me think about stereotypes and how we have to challenge falling into traps and believing them.”
  • “Very enjoyable and interesting session. Thanks for the workshop: it’s always useful to learn about people from the people themselves.”
  • “Really interesting workshop, lots of food for thought and changes that can be made to our promotional material as well as our way of dealing with people.”

Feedback from project participant:

  • “Inside you feel different, the essential you remains the same.” – A. Critchley
  • “We need to do more to make sure that older people are respected in the community.” – C. Vincent
  • “If only we were valued for our life experiences and our knowledge, and not for our reminiscences for projects.” – M. Tyson
  • “Valuing and respecting older people is a sign of a civilised society. So what happened?” – I. Payne
  • “This project has been an important step in bringing the subject into the open, so people know how older people feel.” – C. Palmer
  • “It has been a good experience getting together with the others and letting people know that older people are full of life.” – V. Virtue
  • “Look beyond those wrinkles and grey hairs, there is still the 20-year-old inside full of the same hopes, dreams and plans you have.” – A. Sibley

 

We have run workshops and given presentations to staff and volunteers from the following organisations:The Alzheimers Society
Art in the Park
Blackfriars Settlement
Outreach Ministries
The Copleston Centre
The Cuming Museum
Deptford Mission
Dulwich Helpline
Forster
Fusion
InSpire
JOY (Just Older Youth)
London Wildlife Trust
Southwark Arts Forum
SLaM
Southwark Council Assembly
Southwark Churches Care
Southwark Legal Advice Network
Southwark Libraries
Southwark Sheltered Housing Service
Our thanks to:The volunteer workshop trainers:

Ann Critchley
Cerene Palmer
Irene Payne
Ann Sibley
Maureen Tyson
Carol Vincent
Velma Virtue

The volunteers who contributed to the development of the workshop sessions:

John Bland
Angela Frank
Jean Finlay
Rex McConochie
Ambulai Siafa

Our funders:

The City Bridge Trust

 

 

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