Rural Wisdom driving policy change
Having a say about policies that affect us
One of our aims is giving older people in Wales and Scotland more opportunities to influence policies affecting them. Rural Wisdom made strides in this direction before the pandemic, building connections with the Scottish Parliament, Older People’s Commission in Wales Office, and Audit Wales Office.
Older people having influence online
In fact, there have been many opportunities for older people in Wales since March 2020. The Older People’s Commission in Wales Office (OPCinW) has been very active, inviting people to have a say. Their online events discussed COVID-19 impacts, including older people’s mental wellbeing, factors worrying them, and feelings about lockdown ending. This helped the OPCinW understand different experiences, and gave people space to talk and share good ideas.
Opportunities to connect and shape change
Members of Rural Wisdom have been actively engaged with these events. They’ve shared their views, experiences, feelings and ideas, to help shape Wales’ policies and strategy to rebuilding after COVID-19. One of the Development Workers worked with the Audit Office Wales to explore opportunities for older people taking social action. This led to older people’s voices being heard in the Strategy for an Ageing Society, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’s Key Priorities and Strategy 2021-2022, and the Age Friendly Community Agenda in Wales.
Good policy listens to and learns from the wisdom of different people and experiences. The Rural Wisdom communities look forward to helping make this possible in more ways – online and offline – in the future. It’s fantastic seeing recognition that older people’s voices should be valued in driving policy change. We hope the positive direction continues!