This report shares findings from Ambition for Ageing's research project that commissioned ten community organisations to deliver activities for dispersed communities over a three-month period to find out more about the kind of support that older people from these communities need to stay connected as they age.
By dispersed communities, they mean a group of people who share an identity or experience – such as seeking asylum, being Deaf BSL users, or having the same faith - who do not all live near each other in one area. This means they have to travel away from their neighbourhood to meet up, buy the food they prefer, get the support they need, or practice their faith together.
Place-based approaches to age-friendly community development can further exclude marginalised older people who are members of dispersed communities of identity or experience.
Programme planning should be based on a thorough understanding of the people, assets and relationships in an area, and recognise the value of small, community organisations that support dispersed communities.
It’s important to recognise the importance and value of small community organisations that work to support dispersed communities.
Small, community organisations need more consistent and appropriate support and funding in order to be responsible and flexible to the needs of the communities they support.
Geographically defined ‘levelling-up’ and community development opportunities should be complemented by policies that address the needs of dispersed communities.
The report also includes specific recommendations for funders and commissioners, mainstream VCSE organisations and local authorities and policy-makers.