Active at 60 (Community Agents)

Work and Pensions written statement – made on 23rd November 2010.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Today, I am pleased to announce that the Government are providing £1 million to help older people keep active and make the most of their later lives. This money is available for local community groups or organisations within 30 selected areas(1) to bid for small grants of between £250 and £3,000.

Each local community group within the selected areas will recruit at least one Active at 60 Community Agent who will volunteer their time to help motivate, encourage and organise people within their own communities to become more active, physically, socially and mentally. Active at 60 Community Agents will be from the communities they are helping, and will have the flexibility to design innovative ways of encouraging and inspiring activity to help improve people's later lives.

Through the Active at 60 Community Agent initiative those people who are more at risk of social isolation in their later lives will be supported in becoming more active, independent and positively engaged with society. Active at 60 Community Agents will help people within their communities:

take the first step in trying something new understand the benefits they can get from being more active, engaged and contributing to their communities build social contacts to help make being active part of their routine

This project is part of the Government's ambition to build a big society in which power is transferred from Whitehall to local communities, and organisations and voluntary groups play a far greater role in their community.

(1) The following areas have been selected on the basis of level of deprivation and age structure, while ensuring a broad split across the English regions, encompassing both rural and urban areas:

Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Hackney, Sandwell, Kingston Upon Hull, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Southend-on-Sea, Brighton and Hove, Redcar and Cleveland, Wirral, Doncaster, Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, East Sussex, Norfolk, Herefordshire, County of Lincolnshire, Enfield, Knowsley, Blackpool, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Salford, Hartlepool, Tower Hamlets, Wolverhampton, South Tyneside, Rochdale, Sunderland.