26 Presentation: Halton Older People’s Empowerment Network (OPEN) PDF 213 KB
The Board received a presentation from Richard Ashworth, Chair of Halton Older Peoples Empowerment Network (OPEN), and Clare Lightfoot, Forum Development Officer, on the work undertaken by the Forum in the Borough.
Members were advised that Halton OPEN was established in 2001 and had become the collective voice of people aged 50 plus who lived and worked in Halton. Presently the membership was over 1,100 members. Their aim was to influence and encourage the development of services which could help to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of all older people in Halton. Halton OPEN worked with other agencies in the Borough including Halton Borough Council; Age UK Mid Mersey; Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Halton Partners in Prevention.
The presentation discussed the main issues affecting older people in Halton such as access to public transport; financial issues such as pensions, fuel bills and benefits; isolation/loneliness and health and wellbeing.
Members were advised that an annual telephone survey was carried out for the first time this year relating to isolation and loneliness and it was explained how this was conducted by the staff. Examples of responses of those people contacted were provided to the Board. It was reported that between 30% and 40% of respondents felt lonely and/or isolated.
Mr Ashworth advised the Board of the key successes for 2017 and how Halton OPEN was raising awareness of the forum in the Borough. He ended by outlining the future plans for Halton OPEN which included the improvement of the flow of information via the website, newsletters and information booklets.
Further to Members queries the following was noted:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The leaflets referred to would be made available to Members for distribution to their constituents;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Halton OPEN did not host social events as this was not its purpose and they did not have funding for this;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Halton OPEN did attend other people’s events when invited to do so, for example they recently attended an event at the Heath Business Park, to raise awareness of the organisation;
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The forum encouraged older people to do things for themselves and provided them with information to be able to do so, such as who to contact and directing them to an organisation that can help them and so on. However, if a member requested it they would accompany an individual to an appointment.
RESOLVED: That the Board welcomes the presentation and notes the contents of the report.