LAT Learning: BAME Older People Flourishing
Held in partnership with DICE (Unit for Diversity Inclusion and Community Engagement) University of Leicester, and TREC (The Race Equality Centre) our recent LAT learning event created a space for collaboration, creativity and critical thinking in addressing loneliness and social isolation, dispelling myths on ageing, and encouraging BAME older people's active role in communities.
LAT Partners have engaged with BAME older people in higher numbers than average across the national Big Lottery Funded Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme and as part of LAT’s approach to programme legacy and sustainability we continue to share and deepen our learning.
Our keynote speaker, Amrit Wilson, renowned author and activist shared learning from her seminal book ‘Finding A Voice’ (1978, and revised 2018). This is a ground-breaking study of the experiences of South Asian women, which compels us to move from individual stories of loneliness and isolation to collective movements for justice and human rights – challenging ageism, racism and sexism.
“Isolation is seen from the outside as a result of women not speaking English, or of being forced to stay at home for cultural reasons. But it is more than this. It is a state of mind, one of shock and withdrawal.” (Wilson 2018:28)
Finding A Voice, Amrit Wilson, Daraja Press, 2018
“Isolation is seen from the outside as a result of women not speaking English, or of being forced to stay at home for cultural reasons. But it is more than this. It is a state of mind, one of shock and withdrawal.” .
Amrit was joined by Iris Lightfoote (TREC CEO), Daxa Patel (LAT Board) and Karen Chouhan (WEA, LAT Partner) in a panel discussion considering BAME Older People Flourishing - a way forward? This stimulated a lively sharing of stories of community activism and development. Many participants engaged with usage of the term ‘Black’ as a political term, to signal the shared history and interconnections between ‘people of colour’ in countering racism - as relevant now as it was when the term was coined by political activists in the 1970s.
Older people already are agents of change
LAT Partners shared their successes, challenges and reflections on their journeys through a rich mix of low-tech, guerrilla-style videos and spoken presentations. This ‘test and learn’ approach – with community workers and participants as co-creators of their learning - mirrors the wider ‘asset-based community development approach’ of the LAT programme. We hope our films and presentations stimulate dialogue and action towards older people flourishing. Get in touch with us via social media to share your views and learning on older people flourishing.
West Indian Senior Citizen's Project (WISCP)
Successes, challenges, impact and top tips for overcoming loneliness and social isolation from the Leicester Ageing Together (LAT) partner WISCP working across Leicester.
Pamela Campbell Morris is the project lead for WISCP’s Older and Bolder programme. Pamela shared information on WISCP’s partnership work with the Centre for BME Health including on the Play Domino Talk Prostate campaign, and Remedies and Reason an exhibition on wellbeing supported by the University of Leicester
Confederation of Indian Organisations (CIO)
A presentation on the successes, challenges and reflections on learning from Leicester Ageing Together partner the CIO- a community organisation in Belgrave, Leicester. The project aims to address loneliness and social isolation among over 50s from the South Asian communities.
LAT Community Connectors
Bharti, a Community Connector with Leicester Ageing Together (LAT) describes her experience of asset-based community development (ABCD) in Belgrave, Leicester. Many older people wanted to engage in collective activities to improve their wellbeing and connect with each other. With Bharti's support they realised 'Something you want...is possible!'
Pakistani Youth and Community Association (PYCA)
PYCA shares learning on the successes, challenges and impact of their work in supporting local older people (50+) in overcoming loneliness and social isolation and promoting mental wellbeing.
Katherine Brown described the learning from creative art and health opportunities that she is engaged in – particularly intergenerational programmes linking local school children with older people in care homes.
Highfields Centre share learning, and capture the impact of their Elders' Group activities in overcoming loneliness and social isolation - encouraging Black older people to engage and flourish through collective activities.