Every local authority in Wales now has an Older People’s Champion to help deliver the Welsh Government’s ambition to create an Age Friendly Wales, the Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan has announced.

Wales is the only country in the world where every local authority is fully supported in one nationwide mission to become Age Friendly.

The Deputy Minister met the Age Friendly team at Swansea Council and the elected councillor acting as its Age Friendly Champion on a walk to encourage socialising and reduce loneliness for older people in the city and wider area. It also served as an opportunity to learn more about the concerns and aspirations of older people in the area.

The Welsh Government has made £1.1 million available to local authorities to have an officer in place and to support them as they work towards joining the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Communities and Cities.

The Deputy Minister for Social Services recently published the first annual update report on delivering Our Strategy for an Ageing Society. Supporting local authorities in becoming age friendly is the flagship project in this strategy and the report sets out progress made towards creating a Wales which celebrates the contribution of older people to society.

Julie Morgan said:

“Population projections suggest that we will see a very sizeable increase in those over 80 in the next few decades. It is therefore vital that we plan for the future we all want, today.

“I am delighted with the progress being delivered which is supporting older people, communities, and service providers to collectively shape how the places they live can become more age-friendly. 

“We are also working with partners to address some of the key issues in our ageing society, including the cost-of-living crisis, increasing Pension Credit take up, and adapting our homes.

“The funding is helping local authorities to work towards membership of the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities, and create great places to grow old.”