Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action are delighted to be taking part in United Nations International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.
International Day of Older Persons aims to spread awareness of the wellbeing and contributions made by the elderly population, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN’s first declaration. During current circumstances with COVID-19, this year’s emphasis is on raising awareness of the immediate needs of the older person as well as the multiple roles they play in society. DVVA are challenging any recent focus of negative stereotyping as a result of COVID-19 that older people are vulnerable and frail.
To celebrate our cities older population, DVVA in partnership with Dundee City Council are launching Dundee’s Year of the Older Person which will run from 1st Oct 2020 until 30th September 2021.
Lord Provost Ian Borthwick said “Over the course of the next year I will be working to highlight the important contribution older people make to society and raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for our older population. Our elderly population should be celebrated and should know how much we all value and appreciate their contribution to the local community.”
Carole Anderson, Development Officer, Age Scotland said "this is a truly worthy tribute to the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of the city’s older people to make life as good as it can be for those around them. It’s not just about making the most of the opportunity to recognise the great efforts made by older Dundonians to raise issues and contest decisions which are impacting negatively on people’s lives, but also to acknowledge the day-to-day contributions so many older people continue to make in their communities – as employees, volunteers, carers, committee members, board trustees…. the list goes on. I am not aware of any other proposals like this in Scotland – another first for the city of Dundee! – and am looking forward to supporting this initiative and continuing to work with DVVA to champion older people.”
In previous years, Dundee Older Peoples Services Network would normally mark the date by organising an event to raise awareness of issues affecting older people and to celebrate the contribution that our many older volunteers give to Dundee. This year will focus on a digital campaigns with partners at NHS Tayside launching a video of advice from their elderly residents to the younger generation but have also invited a piper and a drummer to play (socially distanced) for their patients to mark the day.
To kick of the year DVVA will launch See Me Hear My Voice, a story sharing campaign celebrating Dundee’s older network, recognising them as individuals with their own life experiences. DVVA are also gathering stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things in Dundee, for example volunteers and kinship carers. It is intended that this campaign will develop into an exhibition which will travel around the city next year. DVVA would encourage anyone who would like to nominate themselves or someone you may know to get in touch with DVVA.
In keeping with our story sharing projects, we are delighted to be working in partnership over the next few months with V&A Dundee who are asking for our help to explore the significance of a vast postcard collection produced by former global printing firm J. Valentines & Sons of Dundee. They want us to help uncover stories from the firm’s print and photographic past – and they would like former workers’ help to record those generations of social history.
If you or your family worked at Valentines, they are keen to find out what your role was, what you did each day, and what the experience was like? What role did Valentines play in your life and how is the firm remembered across the city? Even if you didn’t work at Valentines, you can still get involved.
Nicola Mitchell, Older Peoples Services Development Officer, DVVA said "I am delighted that Dundee City Council have agreed to work with our network and designate this coming year as Dundee's Year of the Older Person. We want to raise awareness of and right some of the issues affecting older people. Later life can be challenging enough, but for many older people in the city, 2020 has adversely exacerbated these challenges. It therefore seems fitting that we launch our Year of the Older Person to get older people more involved in creating a City that better meets the needs of its older population".
We are delighted to have received support from SCVO to currently be delivering a new Connecting Scotland digital IT project. We are in the process of setting this up to help older people who struggled during lockdown by not being able to ‘see’ their family and friends and whose lives might have been made easier had they been able to do this online. We know there are a number of older people who have devices but struggle to use it, and another number who don't have the means to get online so were further isolated as a result of lockdown.
Would you like to get help to get online? We are looking to find out exactly what the need is – do you have access to technology, do you use it, would you like support to get online or is there a reason as to why you are not? We would love to hear your views on this.
Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a device but would like to learn, as we can help with this too. If you would like to complete our survey, please call us on 01382 305705 and a member of our team will call you back to complete it.
Along with city partners like the HOPE project, we want to champion the huge numbers of older people volunteering across the city and celebrate the work that they do improving the lives of others by creating friendships, activity groups and giving people something to look forward to each week. We also want to recognise and celebrate our older population as individuals with their own stories to tell and so will be gathering your stories across various topics over the year. If you have a suggestion for a new project that could improve the lives of our older population, then we would love to hear from you.
Please get in touch by telephone on 01382 305745, by email on email@example.com or visiting www.dvva.scot