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Ageing Well Public Talks series

The Ageing Well Public Talk (AWPT) series is an educational intervention that addresses and involves ageing populations from diverse communities as well as practitioners, clinicians and other professionals who support ageing populations in their professional roles. 

The AWPT Series is unique in its use of Participatory Public Engagement as the main vehicle for co-design, co-production, delivery and impact. The AWPT Series brings and translates the available scientific evidence to the public and invites members of the public to share their own experience. This empowers and enables participants to make lifestyle choices that support them living longer and healthier lives (over 80 talks to 3,400 people).

The vision

The vision of the AWPT Series and the related portfolio of work is to:

  • Create bridges between communities to allow for a mutual flow of information/knowledge exchange.
  • Engage diverse communities in discussions about their health and wellbeing and thus empower the communities to self-manage and become partners in their own healthcare.
  • Co-facilitate a step change in user behaviour and support existing health and social care services provision.
  • Connects sustainable, already, existing work, support programmes offered by various organisations and networks that already exist in the UK (England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) and internationally (China, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece).

The AWPT Series is contributing to the government’s (local and central) the NHS agendas for prevention of ageing decline and hospital admissions through self-management. The AWPT Series work closely with wide and diverse communities in several areas of the country via a continuously widening network of partners.

To date, over 30,000 people engaged with the AWPT Series. This includes a portfolio of work that is shared via our partners (these include: The Parks Trust MK, Recovery Colleges, Carers Centre Tower Hamlets, Voluntary Health Scotland, Carers Northamptonshire & Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Dementia HUB, Age UK MK, Age Northants, Age Scotland, Healthwatch MK, UKeMED, Careum Hochschule Switzerland).

The overall AWPT Series portfolio includes OpenLearn Create Course; OpenLearn Articles; AWPT Series archived in the ORDO platform 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022, 2022/2023 ; nine short films and OU & Parks Trust MK Podcasts Series Channel. All the above were co-designed & co-produced with members of public, clinicians, stakeholders and people with lived experience.

The five pillars

As part of the 'Ageing Well Public Talk Series' we are exploring how important it is, over our lifespan, to maintain a well-balanced nutrition and hydration as well as regular physical, social and cognitive activity in the older age, also known as the 'Five Pillars of Ageing Well'. As we know we start ageing the moment we are born. It demonstrates more significantly when we reach a certain age, the usual benchmark being 65+, but our ageing starts much sooner and the way ageing demonstrates when we are over 65 depends on decisions we have been making over our life span.

The Ageing Well Public Talk (AWPT) Series represents the culmination of my research and teaching experience coupled with my drive to make a substantial impact on people’s lives and enable our health and social care systems to use resources efficiently. What the does quite naturally is that it improves health and quality of life outcomes at population level, and especially for those who do not actively seek to improve their health.

I have always been passionate about sharing the knowledge and experiences I acquire as well as learning from other people’s knowledge and experiences. The AWPT Series sit in the forefront of knowledge exchange particularly because of the strong agenda of co-production and direct dissemination.

Our Workstreams

The AWPT Series consists of three key workstreams:

  • STREAM 1 – Participatory Public Engagement - Talks (nationally & internationally) for members of public with input from members of the wider public.
  • STREAM 2 – Continuous Professional Development (CPD) - Talks (nationally & internationally) for clinicians, professionals, allied health and social care professionals and stakeholders who support the ageing public in their professional roles.
  • STREAM 3 – Supporting OU students – Talks aimed at OU students via HUBs, Blethers & module production in the UK & Nations to support student’s learning as well as mental and physical health and wellbeing.

The AWPT Series directly align with the OU’s academic mission addressing the OU’s Big Societal Challenges especially around supporting health and wellbeing in diverse communities. Specifically, The AWPT Series use existing networks and support individuals in diverse communities to engage with their own health and wellbeing in a sustainable manner.

Continuous evaluations of the AWPT Series to date, demonstrate the Series meet the needs of external stakeholders, members of the public, researchers and practitioners who partner with us and support further sharing & dissemination through their own networks. The feedback showed that the participants and other stakeholders positively viewed the series as an easy-to-understand model and appreciated the opportunity to participate. The AWPT Series have significantly extended the reach and impact of knowledge shared/exchanged via this Participatory Public Engagement on society, culture, economy and governments across the UK and internationally. 

Research Excellence Awards 2022

Ageing Well is a finalist on the 2022 edition of the Research Excellence Awards, for more information on the project and the award read this news article and watch the video below.