Flourishing Lives Conference 2017
The inaugural Flourishing Lives conference took place at the Royal Society in London on the 25th of May 2017.
The event brought together 100 social innovators from across the arts and health sectors seeking to transform service provision, inspire progress and reduce loneliness and isolation amongst people over the age of 55.
Glenda Jackson CBE officially launched the Flourishing Lives Charter for innovation and best practice in arts, health and wellbeing services for older people, delivering an impassioned speech about the current climate of social isolation and the valuable contribution that older people can make to society.
The actress and activist, who recently starred as King Lear at the Old Vic at the age of 80, led a call for greater quality opportunities, connections and amenities for people in later life.
"I've seen people stunned by what they can do, if they are only given the opportunity."
A panel featuring Maria Lagos (Director of Sector Development – Innovation at Skills for Care), Olivia Dix (Interim Principal Grants Officer at City Bridge Trust) and Lucien-Paul Stanfield (CEO of the Claremont Project and Founder and Chair of Flourishing Lives) examined ideas in service innovation and explored visions of what the future of services for older people can be, followed by a rousing Q&A session with inspiring contributions from the conference delegates.
Professor Richard Faragher (Professor of Biogerontology at the University of Brighton) then delivered a fascinating speech on 'Successful Ageing', unpacking the science of ageing and exploring the potential to transform health in later life.
The conference also marked the launch of Flourishing Lives’ Relational Practice training, which provides a practical and theoretical framework for a more person-centred approach to service provision.
The delegates participated in two taster modules during the day, with the morning session focusing on active-listening skills and the afternoon workshop focusing on self-reflective practice. The sessions were energised and thought-provoking, with the delegates role-playing modes of communication and sharing ideas in building better quality relationships.
The conference culminated in the coalition members signing the Flourishing Lives Charter as a demonstration of their shared commitment to the coalition's ethos of building better quality relationships, providing aspirational and inspirational opportunities, embedding reflective practice in services and changing the public discourse around ageing.
The event was covered by London Live News, which you can watch here.
Lucien-Paul Stanfield, CEO of the Claremont Projectand founder member and Chair of Flourishing Lives said:
“Bringing about genuine and lasting health improvements through the arts is not only a matter of what is on offer but how it is offered. Real friendships, the feeling that we matter to one another, and a culture of aspiration are vital to physical and mental health and are at the heart of our services to older people.”
David McDonagh, Flourishing Lives Coordinator, said:
“We believe that there is a pressing need to change the way people think about ageing - and the way service providers engage with older people. We want to work together to ensure that older people are genuinely valued and empowered to lead healthier, happier, more active and connected lives.”