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Age Friendly work in Hastings

Age Friendly Volunteering -

Our Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Project ran from April 2019 to September 2020, and the latter stages were affected by the worldwide pandemic.

In our Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Project, we will try to overcome barriers to volunteering that older people face. During 2019/20 we are testing out three initiatives:

1. We are developing a Volunteering Club, for older people who are taking a break from their volunteering, or older people who face barriers to volunteering. This may be due to issues around anxiety, poor mental health, lack of confidence, bereavement, or ill health. This Volunteering Club will:
- Tackle any barriers to volunteering using an “Access to Volunteering” fund
- Support people to get ready for volunteering through coaching and peer support.

- Make people feel connected (through gatherings, printed news-sheets, facebook)
- Suggest new volunteering opportunities that are age-friendly
- Support easy access one-off volunteering activities to try, when each person is ready
- Offer quarterly Celebration events, to celebrate people’s achievements and promote successful outcomes

2. We are recruiting a team of older people to be Volunteer Champions – telling their own volunteering stories, and encouraging and inspiring other people of all ages to volunteer. Some of the Volunteer Champions will participate in the Volunteering Club, and support club members to get into volunteering.

3. We will train/advise Volunteer Involving Organisations (voluntary sector and statutory sector) to support them to make their volunteering opportunities more flexible, age-friendly and suitable for older people’s lives, and changes in their life circumstances. This will ensure that there are more volunteering opportunities that are age-friendly and inclusive.

Hastings Voluntary Action is one of five organisations in England to be awarded a one-year grant through the Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund. This fund was launched following a review of community contributions in later life, conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better in partnership with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund.


Hastings becomes an Age Friendly Community- 

In December 2020 Hastings Borough Council passed a motion for Hastings to join the World Health Organisation Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. 

Age-friendly communities is a concept developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2006 with already over 800 members worldwide.  In an Age-friendly community, services, local groups, businesses and residents all work together to identify and make the necessary changes in both the physical and social environment to both support and enable older people to lead healthy and active lives. The Age-friendly Communities framework includes eight domains, or areas, that places can address to improve their structures and services to meet older people's needs and all of us as we age. Find out more about the 8 domains here: The eight domains of age-friendly | Centre for Ageing Better (

This is the start of a really exciting opportunity for Hastings and will be led by a partnership including Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA), The Centre for Ageing Better and Hastings Borough Council.

Over the last year we have been talking to local people in community venues across Hastings and St Leonards and also working in partnership with Optivo and Orbit to speak to residents in social housing about their views on different areas of infrastructure in our town and what, if any, changes are required to support ageing well.

In 2022 we will be continuing to have these conversations on a wider level including holding Age Friendly Communities events at weekends for those who work during the week and we will also be talking to younger people about how they perceive growing old in Hastings and St Leonards.

Attached below is a report by Ruby Cox, previous Older Person's Champion, on year one of the Age Friendly Communities project for Hastings and St Leonards. The report is a snapshot of some of the work undertaken between Hastings Voluntary Action and Hastings Borough Council. 

May 2023 - Hastings Voluntary Action has now completed the engagement phase of the Age Friendly Communities project. A comprehensive report detailing the findings from this engagement can be viewed by clicking on the link further down this page.

We are committed to working with Hastings Borough Council whose responsibility it as as the Local Authority partner to take the Age Friendly Communities work forward to the next stage. 

Project Images: 

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