Age Friendly Streets Campaign
Neighbours are key to less isolation
Streets Alive has found that being friendly with neighbours can reduce isolation and loneliness of all generations in streets, especially of older people.
Age Friendly Streets neighbours' campaign is being trialled in Bristol in 2014/15. It includes the many activities that residents have found that helps residents of all ages to build a more friendly street, without necessarily being 'friends'. Some have held street meets/parties which we have supported.
The campaign and its Toolkit shows how residents meet, keep in touch and organise informal activities between generations. The Toolkit is offered to residents directly to make their street more age friendly, and to build a debate about how such small neighbourly actions create a friendly street atmosphere and can reduce isolation.
Early results from the campaign show that it is popular and works in raising awareness and encouraging small acts of neighbourliness - see details in news.
Ask us for help in running the campaign locally in your area.
Neighbours are a critical piece of the jigsaw of our social fabric of where we live, and being friendly in our streets makes us feel better. Our streets have changed – Streets Alive's work since 2001 suggests that our more mobile and diverse lifestyles with more fragmented families are resulting in loneliness of all generations. Combine this trend with our ageing society means that we have to find new ways of living socially in streets – we have to be proactive and can't rely on bumping into people.
Concern about isolation of older people is becoming a major issue, especially as their numbers are increasing, as explained by Campaign to End Loneliness which we are a partner in. Streets Alive's are also partners in Bristol Ageing Better which is a local response to build solutions in communities. See more facts behind the campaign.
But Streets Alive takes a multi-generational approach because at the same time research by the Prince's Trust suggests that 'more than a third of young people in the UK aged 16 to 24 do not feel part of their local community'. In general we have a generation gap where suspicion and avoidance of other ages is quite common.
Meeting neighbours has to be the starting point, and this is why our experience of neighbours' street parties and street meets helps. We have also worked with residents on street play, SwapShop, green travel promotions and have helped make Bristol the street party capital of the UK.
See more facts behind the campaign
Age Friendly Streets is supported by:
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