You’re never too old to get active!
20 Aug 2015
In 2013, the Barking and Dagenham Joint Strategic needs assessment reported that life expectancy for both men and women living in Barking and Dagenham is amongst the lowest in London . In order to try and improve on these stats, the borough decided to build a series of regular activities and events to encourage its residents to stay physically active and maintain a healthier lifestyle. This became known as the Active 4 Life scheme. As part of this initiative, the borough also developed a programme specifically targeted at its older residents, called Active Age.
Active Age is open to all Barking and Dagenham residents over 60 years of age with many of the events free to attend. With a wide variety to choose from, the activities on offer range from photography to line dancing, arts and crafts to reading groups, and bingo to thai chi, to name just a few! It uses local easily accessible facilities, with several venues in the borough having undergone major improvement works to help provide better facilities for older people to enjoy, for example, the development of more outdoor activity spaces and a community food growing space.
The main aim behind Active Age is to provide one cohesive value for money programme that will provide exciting and fun activities to help keep its older citizens active. However, equally importantly, the Active Age programme also acts as an opportunity for the participants to socialise and feel part of the community, and can even help equip them with tools they may need to lead a more independent life.
For SmartCitizen’s part, we have been involved with the development of the CMS to support the new Active Age service and membership types, as well as the printing of membership cards. Further development work has also been undertaken on our tablet app, SmartInput, to add some new features and usability improvements. These include the addition of an attendance register and functionality for emergency contact details to be added to each cardholder, as well as the ability to configure the list of activities on display depending on the tablet’s location.
When a person becomes an Active Age member, they can simply present their membership card at any activity they attend. The card reader (an Android tablet configured with the SiFt app) will electronically read the card chip or printed barcode and record the member’s attendance. Certain activities will award attendance points to the member’s account which can then be collected and redeemed for rewards via the SmartCitizen Rewards Portal eg. Amazon vouchers, charity donations, Active Life water bottles and bags etc. A win-win situation for everyone involved!
SmartCitizen have been delighted to support Barking and Dagenham on this venture and hope that Active Age will prove a roaring success amongst its older residents and that the statistics will soon begin to demonstrate the programme’s worth.