Older People and Neighbouring
The Role of Street Parties in Promoting
Streets Alive carried out research about older people, neighbouring and street
parties. The results in summary showed that:
- Older people sometimes exclude themselves from street parties and
neighbouring generally for a number of reasons (more details in
downloadable briefing below).
- Street parties are a unique and excellent opportunity for all generations to
meet as neighbours in their street.
- Organising residents may need to make a little extra effort to involve older
people by, for example:
- inviting them face to face
- assuring them that your event is for all ages, and not just for kids - street parties used to be kids' tea parties
- putting out chairs to sit on
- having a tea party and a cake competition
- having a quiz or display photos about the history of the street or neighbourhood
- celebrating the oldest person with a cake or something
- playing music they like or ask them to show off their old dance skills
- The genuine collective effort of organising the events builds neighbourly
relations between generations.
- Street parties are also a good opportunity for active retired residents to take
a proactive role in building their community.
This research led to Streets Alive developing it's Age Friendly Streets campaign which can be applied to any community to reduce isolation, especially of older people.
The research was based on Streets Alive's years' of experience and on material
gathered from interviews and surveys conducted by Streets Alive after street
parties in 2005 and 2007.
We published the briefing below in collaboration with Kevin Harris of Local Level and the research was supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.