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Age-Friendly Community bid success

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South Ayrshire's bid to become one of Scotland's first Age-Friendly Communities has been successful. The area now joins the UK Network of Age-Friendly Communities - a growing movement led by the World Health Organisation.

Around 60 places in the UK have already committed to making their community a better place to age in, with South Ayrshire only the second in Scotland after South Lanarkshire to sign up.

An Age-Friendly Community is a place that enables people to age well and live a good later life - somewhere that people can stay living in their homes, take part in activities they value and contribute to their communities for as long as possible.

Councillor Lee Lyons, cabinet holder for Health and Social Care said, "We are delighted to have been accepted to be part of this initiative. South Ayrshire's ageing population is something the Health & Social Care Partnership and this administration is very aware of; it makes sense for us to get ahead of the curve to help improve outcomes and therefore the wellbeing of our whole community."

South Ayrshire's Age-Friendly Community campaign was kick-started at an Ageing Well event in Ayr Town Hall at the beginning of June.

The event, organised by Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA), brought together around 200 people aged 50 and over and gave them the opportunity to have a say on what improvements are needed to make South Ayrshire more age-friendly.

Marie Oliver, CEO of VASA, said: "I am delighted that South Ayrshire has been accepted to join the Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

"We are helping lead the way in Scotland but this is just the beginning - there is a lot of work to do to make sure South Ayrshire becomes the best place to grow older in and, to achieve this, we must keep listening to older people."

The Age-Friendly Community initiative is being led in partnership by South Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership and VASA, with support from South Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership.

Linda Semple, Chair of the Integration Joint Board concluded, "We are excited to join the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities. Learning from others who are part of the journey will be key to success. South Ayrshire has one of the oldest population rates in Scotland, we hope we are able to lead the way in this work, shaping the direction by working with our communities.

Our Ageing Well Champions Board will be an opportunity for local people to really have their say in shaping our communities going forward. We would encourage anyone interested in being part of the champions board to get in touch."