It was great to get up to Lancaster to see colleagues and Partners as part of the Older People’s Champion Newtork Forum. This one was held in the beautiful Town Hall at Lancaster and was chaired by Councillor Margaret Pattison. I attend these as part of my role as Older People’s Champion and they are a great chance to meet and share some good practice. I’ve come home with plenty of ideas to share back at the Council. The next Forum will be hosted at Burnley in May so I’m really looking forward to showing everyone how wonderful our town is.
Loneliness is becoming an increasing issue for many older and disabled people as community centres close, buses and transport is cut and people become more isolated. There were some boards on display at the meeting from the Loneliness Summit, held in Lancaster last year. There were lovely pledges from the kids who had attended saying how they were going to try and combat loneliness. My favourite was the yound person who pledged to make apple crumble. They are welcome at my house any time! There were several mentions on them aound visiting care homes more often with school, not just at Christmas. This is a great idea, I know these visits are so well received and kids love visiting too. Many kids don’t see their grandparents so often but it’s important that they have a chance to build a relationship with older people.
On a side note, I was able to find out about Cllr Pattison’s project – Morcambe’s Beautiful Back Alleys. I’ll definitely be returning to find out more about this and see if there are any ideas I can bring back to share in Burnley!
By Lian Pate
Labour Councillor for Brunshaw, Borough Executive Member for Community & Environmental Service, and Community Centre Manager
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