Primary research into community contributions in later life
Ageing Better commissioned participatory research into community contributions in later life to better understand how older people currently contribute to and are supported by their communities.
The work looked at the types of informal contribution – such as acts of neighbourliness, low level support – that people make, their motivations for doing so and the barriers they may face.
Research was undertaken in five communities: Hartcliffe and Ashley, both in Bristol; Castle Ward in the seaside town of Scarborough; the rural town of Settle; and the Beeston and Holbeck area of Leeds. In each area, older people were interviewed by trained peer researchers from within those communities, with 79 interviews held in total.
Across the five communities, older people’s community contributions are many and varied and it is clear that even those who take little or no part in formal volunteering are often contributing in their communities and benefitting from the interactions this generates.
The five local reports were launched alongside a review of community contributions in later life done in partnership with the Office for Civil Society.