Age UK Barnet walking group

Barnet to become an ‘Age Friendly Borough’

Barnet Council and Age UK Barnet have committed to making Barnet age-friendly borough, pledging to champion all older residents in the area.

Barnet Council is funding the charity to improve its provision for older people, with the partnership encouraging individuals and organisations to get involved from across North London.

The campaign launch follows a recent survey of over 1000 over-55s in Barnet, where 54% said they believe people treat them with less respect as they age more.

Pippa Mannerings, project lead at Age UK Barnet, explained that age-friendly communities can only be successful if they are led by the voices of the kmg they represent.

Mannerings, 24, said: “Everything we do needs to be informed by the people we are serving, so the voices of older people really are at the heart of the project”, she said. 

Mannerings sees the age-friendly borough as a key way of challenging ageist stereotypes across Barnet and beyond. 

“There’s the idea of ‘boomers’ on social media, presenting this image of old people as a drain on society which is really not true.

Mannerings sees the age-friendly pledge as something which should also give young people hope.

“Having a borough with an age-friendly status and age-friendly awareness should help younger people to age happily and in a way that is active and social, avoiding a situation where they stop themselves from living because of a fear or misunderstanding of what it means to age,” she explained.

Age UK Barnet offers a range of activities for older people in the borough, including popular walking groups which usually have around 10-20 attendees per session. 

Speaking anonymously, one attendee said she had only missed the Stephen’s House walking group in Finchley once, due to especially bad weather. 

“It’s very social, you make friends with a lot of people, some of us meet outside of walking time and go for lunch on a Saturday or something like that which is nice.

“Mentally, being out in the open is so good for you, you see so many different changes in the plants, you see the animals change and the fish grow,” she said. 

Sign at Stephen's House & Gardens
STROLL AT STEPHEN’S: The House & Gardens in Finchley is a popular Age-UK walking spot 

Summarising why she regularly attends Age UK walks, Sarah Ramsey, 87, said  “I love to come here to walk because it’s so therapeutic, everyone is so lovely and you can say anything in the group as everyone is on the ball and very sensitive. 

“Sometimes I find it a bit hard and I only go around the park once, but I still come along because I like to see everyone.

“The group members are very considerate, they are all darlings!,” she said. 

To find out more about age-friendly Barnet, email [email protected] or visit the Age Barnet UK website. 

*Names have been changed and participants anonymised in line with interviewees wishes

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles