Age Friendly Communities is a project run by Age UK IW and Community Action who together are creating environments where the community is set up to help older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay locally involved. They are working with relevant organisations’ on the island to support them to become Age Friendly.
One of the projects Age UK IW is working on is to help Southern Vectis bus drivers learn how to make its services more accessible for people who cannot walk very well, have sight and hearing problems or suffer from dementia. Southern Vectis already offer ‘safe havens’ and safe journey cards for older people, and now its drivers are undergoing training as part of the Age Friendly Island project, led by Age UK IW and funded by the Big Lottery.
Operations manager Steve Roscoe said: “We are committed to improving travel for people with dementia, and that includes training our drivers to be even more aware of how older people, and those with mobility and sensory issues, may struggle to move from place to place.
“With simulation suits, glasses and ear defenders, they have been experiencing how a large number of people struggle on a daily basis.”
Emma Lincoln, Age UKIW’s Age Friendly Island development officer added:
“Southern Vectis has come a long way, working with the Age Friendly Island team in this ground-breaking initiative.
“It’s the first of its kind within the UK’s transport industry, and we’re impressed by Southern Vectis’ willingness to make improvements for its older passengers. The firm has clearly been doing a lot already – including tips for safer travel agreed by the Age Friendly Island steering group – and I’m delighted by the way our partnership is progressing.”
If you would like to get in touch with Emma you can contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org