Bristol set to become city of Age Friendly Streets

A new campaign to encourage small acts of neighbourliness between residents of different ages has been launched in Bristol.

Run by national street party and neighbours’ charity Streets Alive, Age Friendly Streets is asking Bristol residents to pledge small acts of neighbourliness and declare theirs an ‘Age Friendly Street’. The campaign comes as the Big Lottery Fund names Bristol as one of the recipients of over £5m worth of Ageing Better funding.

Unique among age focused campaigns in the UK, Age Friendly Streets will focus on building connections between neighbours and reviving our sense of neighbourliness to help address isolation among older, and in fact many people. Our streets are changing as 1 in 6 people on the average street are now aged over 65 and this is set to rise to 1 in 4 within the next 20 years, according to Age UK. Also, 96% live in streets rather than in supported housing.

Chris Gittins, Director of Streets Alive and organiser of Age Friendly Streets, said:

“The campaign helps residents to chat to neighbours and more; to be friendly rather than being isolated, though not necessarily friends. We can be the street we want to live in and the campaign has loads of ideas to make connections with neighbours of all ages. We can become vulnerable at any age.”

Kriss Evetts a Southville Bristol resident and Age Friendly Streets supporter, said:

“Good neighbours are not a TV cliché and are real in my street. I am pleased that the example of our street helps this campaign as it really is the small acts with neighbours that make it somewhere I want to come home to.” 

Age Friendly Streets will initially be a Bristol focused campaign because it leads the country in holding over 100 neighbours’ street parties each year. Streets Alive are working with residents to build and promote the campaign and are currently looking for resident champions. The campaign is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the BIG Lottery Awards for All.

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