Age Friendly Banbury Partnership seeks help to inspire confidence among older residents using town centre

The Age Friendly Banbury hopes to inspire confidence among older residents using the town centre 
(Pictured: Graham Holtom, Bee Myson, Sir Tony Baldry, Anita Higham, Suzanne Hamman, Ros Jones, Pat Coomber-Wood)The Age Friendly Banbury hopes to inspire confidence among older residents using the town centre 
(Pictured: Graham Holtom, Bee Myson, Sir Tony Baldry, Anita Higham, Suzanne Hamman, Ros Jones, Pat Coomber-Wood)
The Age Friendly Banbury hopes to inspire confidence among older residents using the town centre (Pictured: Graham Holtom, Bee Myson, Sir Tony Baldry, Anita Higham, Suzanne Hamman, Ros Jones, Pat Coomber-Wood)
The Age Friendly Banbury Partnership is appealing to Banbury’s citizens to help inspire confidence among older residents using the town centre by observing guidelines on social distancing and wearing of masks in shops.

As restrictions imposed during lockdown begin to ease, more people are returning to Banbury town centre. Shops are beginning to welcome customers while taking precautions to ensure safe access to services.

However, some older people are reported to be nervous of using the town centre facilities due to a lack of confidence in the compliance with guidelines being observed by fellow shoppers.

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Banbury’s High Steward, Sir Tony Baldry, launched the Age Friendly Banbury Partnership in 2018 with the aim of making Banbury an age- friendly town and a great place to grow older.

He joined Age Friendly Banbury partners in Banbury Market Square on Monday July 20 to encourage local older residents to feel confident in returning to support the Banbury town centre shops and services, while remaining safe and following guidelines.

Sir Tony Baldry, High Steward of Banbury said: "As lockdown measures ease, we look forward to seeing Banbury town centre thrive once more, and we want our older residents to feel able to visit the centre with confidence.

"We are encouraging residents to respect the guidance and we hope to reinforce the sense that it is possible to return to using our shops and businesses safely."

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Sir Tony was joined by Pat Coomber-Wood of Citizen’s Advice, Graham Holtom from Home Instead Care agency, Anita Higham representing NOXNET patients’ participants’ groups, Suzanne Hamman representing Banbury RVS Cornhill Centre, Bee Myson the Age Friendly Banbury Coordinator, and local resident Ros Jones of BYHP to promote the safe use of the town’s shops and services for Banbury’s older residents.

Age Friendly Banbury is a partnership between local organisations with an interest in making Banbury an age-friendly town. It brings together older people, community leaders, local charities, businesses, and local councils.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), by 2050 there will be more people over 60 than under 14 for the first time in human history.

It is expected that the majority will live in urban areas, so the WHO is supporting age friendly initiatives in towns and cities across the world.

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The Age Friendly Banbury partnership is using the WHO model to join 500 places from Derry to Dallas, in 37 countries, forming the Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC). In the UK, there are 25 age-friendly cities, but Banbury hopes to be the first town to join their ranks.

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