Westbury's age old issues
Westbury Area Board launched a new DVD focusing on the issues facing older people on Tuesday as part of the countywide Wiltshire Voices project.
The 30-minute feature follows five people as they talk candidly on camera about their lives, challenges and concerns, as well as issues such as fitness, isolation and transport.
Research for the film was carried out over eight months and involved discussions with more than a 100 older people in the community, from individuals in their own homes to sheltered housing, lunch clubs and residents groups.
The area board worked in partnership with Age UK and a range of organisations to identify the issues relevant to older people and come up with ideas and community solutions to help.
“We have to air our views to the outside world and this was a good way to do that,” said Pat Stevens, 77, who has lived in Westbury for nearly 60 years.
“Pensioners are sometimes left behind and forgotten about, but younger people should be brought up to respect their elders and understand that they wouldn’t be living the lives they have today without our sacrifices.
“I hope the DVD helps towards a better life for pensioners and makes people more aware of the issues that we face every day.
“The film provides lots of information and I tried to answer the questions as fully as I could.
“I think everyone should have a copy of the DVD as it’s really insightful.”
Growing Old is the latest in a project of 12 features that were put together by BAFTA award-winning filmmakers True Vision and funded by a government grant.
Gwen Hird, 88, said: “The film is really good and it was lots of fun to be a part of.
“I have lived in Westbury for 76 years and I think the DVD will help people understand us better.
“There are many issues tackled in the film, such as coping with loneliness, and that will hopefully get more people talking and make them aware of some of the struggles that go with getting older.”
The short films will be used in group situations to stimulate discussion and action by schools, service providers, organisations and area boards throughout Wiltshire.
David Jenkins, from Westbury Area Board, said: “This film will increase awareness of the problems that older people face and it is interesting to hear them talk about their own situations.
“The feedback from this will go back to the council and others in a position to bring about change, so they can look at the issues and try to address some of the issues older people face.”