Council first in Scotland to be Age Friendly Community

Published: Monday 5 June 2023

This image shows chair of Seniors Together Catriona Mason and manger Christine Calder at the launch of Age Friendly communities

South Lanarkshire has become the first Scottish local authority to become an Age Friendly Community.

The council agreed at February’s Executive Committee to formally put in writing a programme to achieve this after being updated on the work already being undertaken by Seniors Together.  A letter of commitment has now been submitted to the World Health Organisation that formally completes the process.

Catriona Mason, the chair of Seniors Together, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the council is now an Age Friendly Community.

“We are the first local authority in Scotland to join this growing UK network of communities that involve all partners and people working together to make our community a great place to grow older.”

Seniors Together worked with the Centre for Ageing Better to develop their knowledge and understanding of the process required to develop an Age Friendly South Lanarkshire.

Catriona Mason added: “Ageism is the most prevalent form of discrimination in the UK so the development of an Age Friendly Community means that the council and its partners will work with older people rather than for them to design services and facilities that best suits their needs and aspirations.”

A representative from Seniors Together now sits on the Community Planning Partnership Board as a voice for older people. The Community Planning Partnership has also been highlighted as best placed to co-ordinate and drive forward the delivery of the age friendly community.

Creating an Age Friendly Community will include ideas such as ‘liveable neighbourhoods’ – limiting traffic and creating more spaces for neighbours to sit and children to play, and ‘fifteen-minute neighbourhoods’ – ensuring residents can access daily needs within a safe short walk, in line with WHO’s identified features of age-friendly cities.

More details are available on the WHO website.