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Shaping our Age

My name is Chiara and I am working for a project called Shaping Our Age. It is focused on finding out what matters to people aged 65 and over when it comes to their well-being- keeping healthy and enjoying life. It will also be looking at ways they can be involved in finding new ways to improve their own and others’ well-being. A wide range of older people throughout the UK have already been consulted and they told us what well-being means to them and how they achieve well-being in their lives.
Shaping our Age now has four Involvement Workers, working within WRVS services in England and Scotland. The idea is that each worker gets to know the local area and meets with older people to get a better idea of what’s available to them locally and what they believe could be improved or developed as new.
So as the involvement worker for Adur and Worthing, based at Chesham House Centre in Lancing. I am getting to meet with people living in the area. I am inviting people to meet informally as a small group to discuss and help identify the kinds of services and activities that can enhance the lives of older people locally. We will work together as a group and with local organisations looking for opportunities to develop further activities that could contribute to making a positive difference to older people’s lives.
If you are interested in meeting with me to find out more about the work or the group, please get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Chiara Vagnarelli at Chesham House Centre. Telephone: 01903 854 640 Mobile: 07435975521
 or email: Chiara.vagnarelli@wrvs.org.uk  Working days: Wednesdays and Thursdays

Shaping our Age is a three year Big Lottery Fund project

Background to the Research

Shaping our Age is a three year Big Lottery funded research project into the well-being of people aged 65 and over. The research aims to find new ways for older people to improve their own well-being and to put well-being, as defined by older people, at the centre of the work of commissioners, providers and policy makers.

During the first phase of the project we consulted with a wide range of older people throughout the UK who told us what well-being means to them and how they achieve well-being in their lives.

In the current phase of the project we are working with older people in five WRVS services. The aim is to explore ways that older people can take an active part in improving their well-being and the well-being of other older people through their involvement in developing a new or existing service or project. This will be a collective or group process.

We have appointed Involvement Workers in each of the five WRVS services to recruit a group of older people and to work with them over about a year. Each worker will encourage their group to identify the kinds of services, projects or activities that would enhance the lives of local older people. It is hoped that the group would then define practical ways of implementing a project to meet local need. They would then measure how successful these actions have been in improving the well-being of local older people, whether service users, carers or volunteers.

Would you like to be involved?

We are looking for older people who would like to be involved in this innovative project; to work with each other and with the involvement worker to make a positive difference to the lives of older people. It is difficult to predict precisely what this will involve or how this will develop. However, taking part is likely to involve group discussions, interviews and workshops. It could involve networking to identify local organisations and individuals that can be involved; it might involve discussions with local voluntary workers too. It might also involve you in doing some skills training.

The ‘journey’ or process is unpredictable but we are sure it will be interesting and worthwhile.

WRVS has agreed to take the learning from this project to enhance its own service development. An important part of the project is making sure that the whole process is properly recorded and analysed so that WRVS can learn from the successes and failures that we will encounter on this ‘journey’.

Taking part is, of course, voluntary and even if you have initially agreed you can change your mind at any point. We anticipate that you would be asked to meet together as a small group about once a week. Further meetings and activities would be at the discretion of the group members. At no time would you be expected to do something that you don’t want to do.

We would ask your consent to make any audio recordings of the discussions that take place or to take any photographs. These would only be used by the Involvement Worker and the Shaping our Age Research Team to make sure that your views are reported accurately and the process of service shaping and development is properly recorded.

How do I get involved?

You can contact the local Involvement Worker for Adur and Worthing. She will be pleased to hear from you, answer your questions and let you know what happens next.

Chiara Vagnarelli, Involvement Worker, Shaping Our Age, Chesham House Centre, 124 South Street, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8AJ.


Telephone 01903854 640

Mobile: 07435975521