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Essex Assembly: Enjoy life into old age

Leaders from across Essex united at the Essex Assembly on Tuesday 5 March, to collaborate on the design and delivery of future communities and services that support older citizens.

Together delegates shared their experiences, celebrated successes, challenged current thinking and set new ambitions to create communities and services that provide all residents with the same excellent quality of life as they live and grow old in Essex.

The Essex Assembly, held at Chelmsford Race Course, facilitated a series of workshops to explore our partnership priorities to tackle avoidable physical and mental illnesses, promote independence through innovation, support carers, design healthy places, prevent isolation, increase employment opportunities, encourage learning and adopt a whole system leadership approach to effecting sustainable change.

Delegates heard from Professor Rachel Cooper, how a whole system approach to designing new communities can promote health and wellbeing, as well as economic, environmental and social return on investment, and participated in some future needs planning to address the many needs of our ageing population, and support citizens to enjoy independent, healthy, safer lives.

Building on the conversations from the workshops an interactive panel session was hosted by Cllr John Spence, Chair of the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board, and provided attendees with an opportunity to ask national and local experts about their approach to addressing the changing needs of older people in relation to employment expectations, social care, active communities and education.

Panel members included; George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing, Independent Age; Daniel Singleton, National Executive Director, FaithAction; David Sollis, Chief Executive, Healthwatch Essex; Mike Gogarty, Director Public Health Wellbeing and Communities Essex County Council; and Professor Rachel Cooper OBE, President of the Design Research Society.