At the full council meeting on 11 January 2017, many Leeds City Councillors took an opportunity to highlight the work and accomplishments of Time to Shine.
Councillors were briefed about Time to Shine in the Executive Board report (presented on 14 December) and many members liked what they heard.
“A range of methodologies will be deployed to identify and support socially isolated older people, contributing to a local and national evidence base,” said Cllr Christine Macniven, summarising a main objective of the project.
Recently elected Cllr Denise Ragan said, “I’m so pleased to get this opportunity to talk in my maiden speech about the critical work and importance of the Time to Shine programme. We as a council take this issue incredibly seriously. As we reach the end of the first year, communities across the city are starting to see the impact of this investment.”
Cllr Ronnie Graham dedicated some of his time to highlight the recently published Age Friendly Charter, noting: “The launch of the refreshed Age Friendly Charter I hope also demonstrates the city’s commitment to an Age Friendly Leeds.
“Each of us, whether as a council, a business owner, a health provider, or a citizen, have a role to play and a responsibility to support older people to ensure they live healthy and fulfilling lives.”
While those who spoke were unanimous in their positive reception of Time to Shine, some Councillors raised some important questions about the challenges as well as the future.
Cllr Terry Wilford described his mother as an example of someone who is reluctant to engage in opportunities offered to her. “Time to Shine project is commendable, but in my mother’s case, how do we make that work for her?”
Cllr Barry Anderson asked, “Once this funding is over, what’s going to happen next? Yes it would be nice if the Council had the money and could do it themselves, but it’s unlikely. What more can we do, in terms of our strategies, to address social isolation?”
Over the life of the project, Time to Shine will gather broad evidence about what approaches work best, which can inform the strategic thinking of the Council and other key players in Leeds.
The Time to Shine team are thrilled to have both the Council’s interest and support as we work in partnership to make this a less lonely city.
The full council meeting can be seen via webcast: the portion covering Time to Shine begins at 2:07:45 and continues for approximately 40 minutes.