What does it mean for Sheffield?

In 2019, in partnership with Sheffield City Council, we led the successful application for Sheffield to be part of the WHO’s global age-friendly network. Since then, we have partnered with organisations and individuals across the city, paving the way towards an Age-friendly Sheffield. 

What does it mean for Sheffield?

At its core an age-friendly city is one where people and organisations work together to co-design those all-important aspects of a place that make it work well for people in all stages of life.

For some cities across the world, developing an age-friendly city is about making radical, innovative change. In Sheffield’s case, it’s all about building on the successes that are already happening, and have been happening for many years, so that our future is one where everyone can have a brilliant experience of living and ageing in Sheffield.

In 2019 the leader of Sheffield City Council wrote to the World Health Organisation, and Sheffield were successful in joining 1000s of other cities as members of the global Age-friendly Cities and Communities network. This significant milestone followed the City for All Ages framework drawn up in 2012.

For the last 6 years, we’ve been working with people across the city to combat loneliness amongst people aged 50 and over and we’ve learnt huge amounts about what is important for connections to thrive and for people to live well as they grow older. This work has helped us to set an age-friendly framework through which organisations, individuals and governing bodies can drive healthy and active ageing – whether you’re aged 50 and over, or if you’re younger. It’s also shown us how many brilliant individuals and organisations are already contributing towards the 8 domains that make an age-friendly city.

Building on success

Growing an age-friendly city can be achieved and enjoyed by every one of us, and here in Sheffield there are examples of it everywhere we go. In their mission to end the digital divide, Good Things Foundation have provided laptops for school children and digital support for older people so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of being online at all stages of life. First and Stagecoach have embraced age-friendly training for bus drivers. We’re seeing more bike lanes and beautiful outdoor spaces through Sheffield’s ‘grey to green’ project which allows people of all ages to travel safely on foot or by wheels, and there are countless organisations working to support people in all sorts of ways through the different things we experience in life – including our former delivery partners.

Sheffield’s recently launched 8 priorities for the city align with the domains of an age-friendly city and through our age-friendly work we are excited to continue growing a city with a clear focus on action that drives healthy and active ageing.

Our vision is for a city that is inclusive and enables people of all ages to actively participate in all aspects of civil life and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age.

Our mission is that everyone enjoys a positive experience of ageing across their lifetime, preventing loneliness, nurturing connection by making Sheffield a brilliant city to grow older in.

You can help. And you can benefit too.

Alongside the framework that’s used to grow age-friendly cities, we know that ageing means different thing to different people (and that it can change for each of us as we grow older). We’re finding out what matters to Sheffield people now, and in the future, through our ‘100 voices of Sheffield’ mission.

“There has never been a more critical time for our work or a more important time to make our city Age-friendly. Covid-19 has impacted on every aspect of our lives – social, emotional, physical and economic, and we are excited to have the opportunity to work alongside older people in Sheffield to reimagine what our city could look like in the future. We also recognise that systems and political structures are going through unprecedented change – we hope that our work and experiences from the last 6 years in Sheffield can help continuing to shape a city where everyone is proud to grow older.”

Juliann Hall, Co-director of Care and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing Association (the lead organisation for ABiS)