Our ambition for Age Friendly Leeds is to be the best city to grow old in and a place where people age well.
Age Friendly Leeds is one of the eight interconnected priority areas of work set out in the
Best Council Plan 2020-2025.
Our Age Friendly Leeds strategy and plan is adapted from the World Health Organisation's Age Friendly domains and sets out what we are doing to make Leeds more Age Friendly.
Here are some of the ways our services have been responding and adapting to the challenges and changes faced due to COVID-19 in relation to older people.
Leeds Housing Strategy has been refreshed for 2022 – 2027, setting out the city’s ambitions for age friendly housing. The age friendly housing priorities are to support independence through improved information and advice and to provide a range of age friendly housing options. Leeds City Council has a strong partnership approach to progressing the age friendly housing priorities - working with Centre for Ageing Better and other local partners, such as Leeds Older Peoples Forum, to ensure that the housing needs of older Leeds residents are met.
Public and civic spaces
Council facilities including community hubs, libraries, museums, and galleries are now open to the public again. There are 26 community hubs across Leeds where you can find free, confidential, and tailored support and information under one roof.
The Parks and Countryside service are aiming to ensure our parks and green spaces are welcoming and accessible for older people by reviewing the number of parking bays for people with disabilities, and bench numbers and locations when putting together a plan on a page. We are aiming to get all our 63 parks up to the Leeds Quality Parks standard, so they are easily accessible to people of all ages.
Leeds Parks and Green Spaces Forum is a group of 100 members who meet four times a year to facilitate a positive, open, helpful, and collaborative approach to delivering the Parks and Countryside service. The members have offered to help with the process of auditing the accessibility of our parks and green spaces. Improvements have continued including the provision of new benches, and footpath improvements to improve access.
Travel and road safety
Road safety improvement schemes such as reduced speed limits, new pedestrian crossings and awareness campaigns improves safety for people of all ages. The
Good Egg Safety guide gives older road users advice about road safety that is tailored to them. If you want to report a problem with a road or pavement, you can do so on
West Yorkshire Metro's Access Bus helps people who need to get out and about.
Travel assistance cards available from West Yorkshire Metro allow people to discreetly tell bus drivers of their additional needs.
Audio announcements are now available at bus stops and onboard, and new vehicles are more accessible to wheelchair users. The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that public transport across the UK will be adapted to make it more accessible for disabled passengers, including audio and visual announcements on busses and tactile paving on train station platforms.
Active, included and respected
Shine is the magazine for older people in Leeds which is regularly published and distributed to older people across the city. It features opinions, memories, life-stories, health tips, information and more – all from and for older people. Shine relies on its readers to provide stories. Everyone has a story to tell: there is no such thing as an ‘ordinary life’.
100% Digital Leeds team have a vision where everyone in Leeds has equal opportunity to use digital tools, technology, and services in the right way for them. The team lead on digital inclusion across the city, co-hosting the Digital Inclusion Network for organisations supporting older people. They are also working with Local Care Partnerships to further developing Digital Health Hubs across Leeds.
Everyone is welcome at our 37 Leeds City Council libraries and community hubs. Libraries offer free community spaces for you to enjoy; a place where you can read, relax, socialise, learn a new hobby and much more. If you need help to get online or would like to learn a new digital skill, we run a range of digital support sessions – just ask a member of staff for more information. There are regular events, workshops, and social activities to provide opportunities to meet others in a relaxed, friendly environment. Find out more
Our Council Museums and Galleries have had to adapt to new ways of working to maintain their many work strands across Leeds. As ever this has meant keeping the city's cultural agenda and museum collections at the heart of all activity whilst also incorporating our core values of wellbeing, belonging, and creativity – something more important now than ever to keep our communities connected.
Friendly Communities team at Leeds Older People’s Forum are continuing several work programmes to keep older people connected, share good practice, work in partnership and provide a platform for older people’s voices. This includes the Age and Dementia Friendly business guide, Come in and Rest Scheme, Age Friendly Ambassadors, Wise Up to Ageism sessions, and their Age Proud Campaign.
Leeds Inspired website lists thousands of events happening in Leeds every year. You’ll find gigs, exhibitions, dance, performance, films and family events; we love to highlight new independent events alongside the more established to show you the full picture of things to do in Leeds. The website has clear information about event accessibility and celebrates creative opportunities both for and by older people.
Healthy and independent ageing
Active Leeds offers a range of Age Friendly activities at our Leisure Centres and in the community. For those at risk of falls, our Postural Stability 'Strength and Balance' programme is progressive and is designed for people with low mobility. With support from Greater Manchester University's healthy ageing research group and ageing hub, we have produced the Keeping Well at Home Booklet, designed to support people who are staying at home to keep active. This can be requested from the Public Health Resource Centre. For more information please visit the
Active Leeds for Health web page or contact the Active Leeds Health Programmes Team by phone on 0113 378 3680 or email email@example.com.
The Enhance Programme aims to support safe and sustainable discharge from hospital and neighbourhood teams into a secure home environment. It links Neighbourhood Teams with third sector organisations to enhance capacity in both sectors and avoid both delayed discharges and readmissions. The programme is a cross-sector partnership with all partners being equal to provide wraparound welfare.
Dance On is a community-based dance programme designed to increase physical activity in older people in Leeds. They are a fantastic opportunity to try something new, get active, have fun, and meet new people in your local area. A timetable of classes can be found here. To join a class or find out more, please contact Hannah:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 0113 243 8765.
Lunch clubs across the city have continued to be funded to support the vital work of food provision and ongoing support for older people in Leeds.
Public Health have updated the
Winter Friends animation video to support frontline workers to engage in positive conversations around staying well this winter. Sign up to be a winter friend by visiting
their website .
The 37 Neighbourhood Networks work across the whole of Leeds with each area working with members and volunteers to deliver a range of activities to improve and promote health and wellbeing, including advice and information, help around the home, healthy living activities, leisure and recreation, transport, and general support. Our partners, the Centre for Ageing Better
commissioned a recent report that demonstrates the importance of organisations like the neighbourhood networks in terms of community participation.
Employment and learning
developing an Age Friendly employer approach, using the framework provided by the Centre for Ageing Better. This includes establishing an Age Related Staff Forum for older workers in the council.
We are also working on a national Good Recruitment of Older Workers (GROW) project. This aims to pilot new approaches to counter age discrimination in recruitment.
Addressing financial inequalities is a challenge. Pension Credit is available to supplement the UK State pension and help lift people out of poverty, but not everyone entitled to pension credit claims it. We know that 2 out of 5 people in Leeds who could claim don'''t, which means that there is an estimated £30 million unclaimed pension credit in Leeds. We are working with the voluntary sector to look at how we can increase the uptake.
The Age Friendly Leeds Board, chaired by the Deputy Executive Member for Adults and Children’s Social Care and Health partnerships, provides leadership. Membership includes the representatives from the Council, Leeds Older People’s Forum, the Centre for Ageing Better and West Yorkshire Combined Authority and reports to both the Executive Board and the Health and Well Being Board where appropriate.
Age friendly Leeds Partnership
The Age Friendly Leeds Partnership brings together statutory, voluntary, and private sectors to:
- address the priorities identified by older people in relation to making Leeds an age friendly city
- build awareness of age friendly priorities and actions
- assess how age friendly the city is against the World Health Organization’s eight Age Friendly domains
- support age friendly initiatives which help us to work towards Leeds becoming an age friendly city
- support staff training and development
- developing key linkages with other groups that enhance health and social care services for older people
- work to challenge and remove the structural and social barriers faced by older people
Membership includes Age UK Leeds, Care and Repair Leeds, Centre for Ageing Better, Feel Good Factor, Groundwork Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council, Leeds Older People’s Forum, Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds Playhouse, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Leeds Older People’s Forum
Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) is a network of third sector organisations working with and for older people. LOPF wants to ensure older people have the opportunities, choices and support they need to live the life they want.
LOPF’s member organisations work closely with older people across a diverse range of areas, including health, social care, housing, transport, and leisure.
LOPF is lead, or a key partner, on many projects and programmes, including:
Time to Shine (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, 2015-22) to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
A wealth of learning from Time to Shine is available .
LOPF also supports the
34 Neighbourhood Network Schemes, which together serve the whole Leeds City Council area. They aim to meet local needs and provide services, activities, and opportunities that older people want.
Find your local Neighbourhood Network .
Centre for Ageing Better
The Centre for Ageing Better is a national organisation. It was developed among the big lottery fund programme fulfilling lives: Ageing better. This was in response to the House of Lords select committee on the public service and demographic change report Ready for ageing (2013). The Centre for Ageing Better’s vision is to create a society where everybody enjoys a good later life.
The Centre for Ageing Better selected Leeds as a partner and in October 2017 entered into a five-year partnership agreement with the Council and Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF).
The purpose of the partnership is to enable Leeds to:
- adopt evidence-based practice
- • to pilot innovative approaches
- generate new evidence of ‘what works’ for ageing well that can be disseminated locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally by Ageing Better, LCC, LOPF and other stakeholders
National and International Partnerships
Leeds is a member of:
UK Network of Age Friendly Communities: a group of cities from across the UK that are collaborating to bring about change in the way that cities respond to population ageing.
EuroCities Urban Ageing Forum: dedicated to raising awareness and improve strategies for age friendly environments in cities.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Age Friendly Cities: established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between communities worldwide.
There are lots of ways for individuals, businesses and organisations to get involved with making Leeds an age-friendly city.