I have been fortunate over the last 4 years to be involved in the Time To Shine project in Leeds. Time To Shine is part of the Big Lottery Ageing Better programme, with the aim of reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst older people. In recognition of the social isolation experienced by many older carers, Time To Shine funds our very successful Carers Connections Project.
In October, Time To Shine launched its Age Proud Leeds campaign- a campaign to raise awareness of ageism, change negative attitudes about ageing and older people and challenge age discrimination. Start looking around you and you become aware that negative attitudes about older people are everywhere and age discrimination seems to be very socially acceptable, if not acceptable in law.
As part of the Time To Shine work, Age and Dementia Friendly Leeds campaigns are also running. These aim to raise awareness but also make structures and services more accessible to older people, people with dementia and their carers. Many carers who use our service will be only too aware of how difficult it can be to go out with your family member with dementia and feel you can relax and be accepted by the people around you. These campaigns are trying to change these attitudes.
Carers Leeds supports this vital and innovative work and we’ve been pleased to see that a new guide for businesses and organisations in Leeds on how to become age and dementia friendly has been published. This is available on their website: timetoshineleeds.org and copies will be available from the Time To Shine office 0113 244 1697.
Helena Bladon, Development Manager