Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the lovely summer! While I work and study all year round, summer is a less hectic season for me. That’s why it’s good to look back on what I’ve done in semester two.
Whenever I start writing a new post, I’ll go over what I’ve written so that the new piece will not overlap with the old ones. But as I read my last post about the VIP workshop, I realise that I didn’t say much about it! I guess it was a tricky balance between giving too much information to prospective participants and giving too little information for them to make an informed decision (as to whether they were joining us or not). As this post is about the recap of the Age-friendly workshop, I’ll tell you everything and hope the details will help those thinking to organise an event among your VIP teams!
Our workshop took place on 26 April 2023 (Wednesday) and received about 10 registrations. Beth led the workshop while Pat, Hannah, and I were facilitators.
The workshop presentation slides by courtesy of Beth
Before the workshop, we contacted different parties to maximise our reach. For example, we sought help with dissemination from the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP), the VIP Operation Team, the Doctoral College, Anna Boneham from the SU, and our personal networks. Before promotions, of course, we would need a poster for the event. We chose to use Canva because it’s easy to use and it’s free!
This is our poster
Apart from the above promotional strategies, Fiona also printed hard copies for us to distribute around the campus. I took three posters and put them randomly in the library. I wasn’t sure if this was a legit way to promote the event, but I did have some fun.
A poster in the printing area
Another poster in the computer area
I also created a VIP account on Eventbrite. Again, this is a free event management platform as long as your events are free. Please feel free to give us a follow!
As we secured a fund from the SWDTP, we had a budget for food and drinks. We wrote to the Hospitality Team at email@example.com to ask for a menu. We then ordered drinks online from the food direct while confirming the food order through email. Please note that there was a delivery service for the drinks, but we needed to pick up the pizzas at the Lime Tree by ourselves. As advised by Fiona, we paid with a project code, and the transactions went smoothly.
We were excited to see some new and familiar faces on the day. When asked why they decided to attend this workshop, most participants commented that they had a genuine interest in the topic and would love to learn more about it. Interestingly, one attendee said he had a gap between classes, and that’s why he was here. We all love his candid response.
There were three overarching aims of the workshop:
- To understand students’ attitudes towards older adults
- To challenge and discuss stereotypes held between younger and older adults
- To help students identify ways they can make their environments more age inclusive.
The workshop started with the introductions of the Age-friendly VIP team and our ongoing work. Beth moved on to discuss what inclusive language we could use when talking about older adults. For example, the word “elderly” or “oldies” is considered discriminatory language that can suggest negative stereotypes (Patev et al., 2019). The term “older adults” is deemed to be less offensive (Age UK, 2019).
During the workshop, we asked the participants to consider what activities they associated with older adults. Some commented on gardening and knitting. We then played three video clips created under the Film Active Project and explored whether there was a perceptual change among the participants afterwards.
This is video clip one.
A participant was reporting back on their group discussion.
The participants were encouraged to reflect on what community spaces were designed for older adults.
Overall, we were glad the participants perceived the workshop positively! They reported there was an apparent change in their attitudes towards older adults. For instance, an attendee remarked she no longer viewed older adults as grumpy and against technology. Instead, older adults were adventurous and willing to learn.
In the next post, I’ll talk more about our VIP dissemination and the fantastic VIP funding opportunity for established projects. If you can’t wait, you can have a sneak peek at https://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/vertically-integrated-project-vip-funding-for-established-projects/.