Written for WhereIsTheCare
Building Positive Futures is Thurrock Council’s programme to support older and vulnerable people to live well. The name reflects what our older residents have told us: they are ‘fed up with being portrayed as a problem’. They rightly believe they have contributed to society throughout their lives and continue to do so – more than half of older people volunteer, doing work worth an estimated £10b per year.
Building Positive Futures is about changing how we think about our ageing population, about communities where older and disabled people can enjoy the best quality lives. Making this dream real requires a partnership between residents and a wide range of local organisations.
Thurrock’s Building Positive Futures centres on three main themes:
- Better health and well-being: so people stay strong and independent
- Improved housing and neighbourhoods: to give people more – and better – choice over how and where they live as they grow older
- Stronger local networks: to create more hospitable, age-friendly communities
In Thurrock, we are doing many things to promote ageing well including building new, specially designed homes, putting in place community building initiatives and making sure that when people do need services and support, they receive the best possible care.
With a predicted increase of nearly 25% in the number of people in Thurrock with dementia by 2020, we are encouraging staff and residents to volunteer to be a dementia friend. Our aim is for all of Thurrock to become a dementia-friendly community so that local residents with the condition can live well and feel a part of their local community.
We are also embarking on a new programme called Animate which has been set up to encourage the exchange of skills, experience and knowledge between older workers – who have recently retired or are about to retire, and younger people – who are jobless or beginning work and who would benefit from learning from experienced workers. The focus will be on older and younger workers in the social care sector. Animate is being supported by European funding.
Raising awareness that we are all living in an ageing society and that we all need to help shape a caring society is vitally important and for this reason, we are delighted to support Where Is the Care. Please see our Article under the ‘Articles’ tab on this website for further information and Thurrock Council’s website at www.thurrock.gov.uk/our-vision-for-future/our-vision
Les Billingham, Head of Adult Services, Adults, Health and Commissioning