Help make your community age-friendly
What is Touchstone?
Touchstone is a national course aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of people aged 50 and over who wish to play a part in helping to make their communities more age-friendly.
How does it work?
This free course runs over eight weeks and is designed to help participants make a difference within local community organisations by teaching them skills on lobbying, research and working with the media. No previous experience or qualifications are required.
The Touchstone initiative recognises that older adults are self-directed learners, who expect participant-led discussion and opportunities to identify for themselves the issues related to ageing and civic engagement. The programme design respects and mobilises the past experiences of participants, and develops the knowledge and skills by which they can address these issues. Whilst it encourages individual learning and critical reflection, it can also lead to collective social and political action.
Touchstone is attractive to people:
- wishing to bring about change particularly in the local community;
- wishing to give something back
- wanting to improve the community for future generations;
- with personal experience which has heightened an awareness of what needs to change;
- attempting to become more integrated as a newcomer into the community; and,
- feeling a sense of achievement and belonging from involvement in Civic Engagement activities.
For groups such as Older People’s Councils, local leadership groups in NGOs, participants in Public Policy Networks (PPNs) and other forums for consultation, Touchstone offers an ideal opportunity to become more aware of how to bring about change and to work effectively with partners in the statutory agencies and the private sector for the good of the community.
The course is delivered as 8 half days over 8 weeks
How can I get involved?
We will be updating our list of courses soon, so keep up to date by signing up to our email newsletter or give us a call to register your interest in this course.
Learning, education and engaging with your local community offers a number of benefits including
- happiness and empowerment
- mental wellbeing
- increased self-awareness and expression
- development of new skills and interests
- providing a sense of self control
- social connection
- reduced depression and anxiety
- reduced stress levels
- improved cognition
- sense of identity and personhood
- increased self-esteem and confidence