Das Bild zeigt eine Gruppe älterer Menschen

5. Workshop and Conference in Cambridge – 20th – 22nd June 2018

Project partners met in Cambridge (UK) from the 20th to 22nd June to attend the fifth workshop and a conference organised by the Cambridgeshire partners (Adult Learning & Skills, Cambridgeshire County Council) and co-hosted by Cambridge City Council.

The main themes of the 3 days were the inclusion of older people in service provision and planning be that through supporting their peers through volunteering, participating in the digital world or working with service providers to deliver support in new and innovative ways.

The Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Nigel Gawthrope, welcome visitors and guests to the City and was followed by a presentation by the City Council on how they are working to eliminate the digital divide within the city which particularly  effects the elderly and those with lower incomes.

Francesca Coleman, Head of Digital Inclusion for The Good Things Foundation talked about the national digital inclusion picture and the work the Foundation has been doing over the last decade and more to increase digital participation.

There was then a presentation on the work Cambridgeshire County Council is doing to promote Active Communities: an asset based community development approach which encourages communities to recognise the strengths and skills they have and use these to support others. In the afternoon there were presentations on projects happening within Cambridgeshire that engage older people in both volunteering, empowering communities to help themselves and planning and supporting service delivery.

The projects that were presented included

  • Digital Champions – older people with the City of Cambridge who volunteer to engage and support other older people getting online
  • Cambridge Online – an organisation that supports digital participation
  • Linkages – an intergenerational housing project supported by the CHSA Group which places students in flats within sheltered housing accommodation
  • SENS Plus – RBS Luxembourg reported on their follow up work on an older people’s project
  • Time Banking and time credits – work supported by the County Council
  • Brampton Community Connectors – a large community engagement and support network based in a village in Cambridgeshire

The final day saw presentations by:

  • Care Network – presented their Community Navigators project which uses volunteers to support older people in their communities. The project provides information and help so that older people can get to activities and services which they would enjoy or find useful
  • Cambridgeshire Library Service presented how they work with over 900 volunteers to deliver aspects of the library service, particularly around services for older users.

The presentations highlighted the themes of the Silver Learners’ project by demonstrating how older people can be actively involved in both the approach and delivery of a range of services for themselves and how they can be trained to support their peers. The results of this work was shared with project partners and can be disseminated across the EU, adding value to the work of the partners and other countries.