The event was put on by a community-led organisation, bringing together people from many backgrounds to tackle local issues. Every year, the United Nations designates the 1st October as International Older People’s Day and events have been taking place across the country to celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and to raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world. I went along to talk about our recent research into user and community led social care, and ran a session alongside a speaker from UNISON who was talking about their ‘Care Workers for Change’  and also a local woman who is trying to set up communal housing with friends in preparation for their old age.

I gave the gathered audience a background to the research and why it was needed, making the distinction between community-based organisations, those which are doing things for people and community-led organisations that are giving people control and voice over the decisions that affect them. This led on to a great question and answer session with members of the Inspired Taskforce, an older person-led group campaigning to make the local area an Age-Friendly Community. It was fantastic to be out in the community talking to the people affected by changes to social care and spreading the word about how self-organising into local co-operatives may be an empowering solution to tackle loneliness and isolation as well as the crisis in the care system.