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It takes a village……………


It takes a village…..

Age Concern Suzy and I had a really successful afternoon yesterday visiting the local Carlton Hill shops and businesses and talking to them about Age Friendly Carlton.

• We spoke about what we’d heard that older people valued. They engaged with, and signed up to, the concept and there’s now loads of the lovely AFC stickers in shop and business windows;
• We went along one side of the street – Suzy is going out again today to talk to the other side. And we’ll need to tackle Carlton Square at some stage too.
• She is going to publicise it on the Carlton Hill Community Action Facebook page and we’ll also work on getting it featured in the local newsletters and magazines
• I got to see Suzy in action – she was very good – I took a back seat as it is her initiative and then followed up if appropriate. She said she valued my being there as it made it more fun and she felt supported – (it’s quite an exhausting thing saying the same thing over and over again)
• And we got to meet the shop and business owners which was a really brilliant way of meeting that part of the community; learning about the diversity there; and also what they’re experiencing – the rising energy prices hitting them hard; the U3A groups patronising one restaurant in particular; the deals they put on and the help they provide for older people; the unhappiness about the bank going…
• Carlton Hill has a wide range of some really lovely independent shops and super friendly shop keepers. The low-key approach worked. I felt I could go back, if needed, to follow up on things.
• There were a few of my Strong and Steady crew wandering around as well who I chatted to and Suzy met some of her customers and seemed to already have a good relationship with many of the shop owners. – it felt like being in a little village.

Working in partnership with Age Concern and getting the local shops and businesses on board with helping older people in the locality felt like a really good way of building the community. And something we can develop further in our Carlton Community Connecting work.