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Southwark Council gains international recognition for Age Friendly policies

Published Friday, 12 June 2015

Southwark Council

Southwark is the first borough in London to be officially recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as part of its Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

The membership means Southwark has joined a wide range of international communities, from Canberra to Kilkenny, to share information, experience and best practices to make Southwark a safer, healthier and happier place for its older residents.

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for adult care and financial inclusion, said: "By being part of this global network we can gain inspiration from projects and ideas across the world to help us deliver our promise of making Southwark Age Friendly. I am very happy that WHO has recognised our work so far and our commitment to creating the conditions for ageing well in the future."

Southwark Council has been implementing a number of policies and programmes over the last couple of years aimed at making the borough age friendly. These include:

  • Implementing its own Ethical Care Charter for its home care contracts
  • Moving towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough and forming the new Southwark Dementia Action Alliance
  • Provision of free 'Silver Surfer' IT sessions at its libraries and delivering a home library service to over 300 residents a month
  • Free swim and gym provision for anyone over 60 from May 2015
  • Targeted employment support for anyone over 50 facing barriers to getting jobs
  • Providing free assistive technology to anyone over 85, or who has a diagnosis of dementia
  • A Winter Well-being programme to help more vulnerable people stay in their homes and reduce hospital re-admissions


Meanwhile, throughout the summer the council will be running a community conversation, which is set to be steered by a group of representatives from the Consortium of Older People’s Organisations in Southwark, the Southwark Pensioners’ Forum and Healthwatch.

Everyone living in Southwark is encouraged to take part in the conversation on how Southwark can become an Age Friendly borough and positively celebrate ageing.

More details will be available on the council’s website when the consultation begins.

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