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January 28, 2021

Listen to diverse voices

As part of the Age Proud Leeds campaign message ‘Older Different Equal’ we have been talking to older people from diverse communities about ageism and discrimination. Using online interviews to collect their comments we have created the Age Proud Leeds podcast – Diverse Voices. This is the first time we have made a podcast and we learnt a lot along the way.

Everyone shared their knowledge and wisdom with humour and had great ideas for making things better. The conversations confirmed that people from diverse communities have valuable insight into coping with the effects of discrimination, and that older people have a huge reservoir of stories and ideas. This is often called ‘lived experience’ – valuing it is a really important element of our work. The biggest challenge was editing, because we had to choose from so much great material.

We asked people who have helped us in our work to be interviewed individually, using the same open questions about discrimination with everyone. Before we arranged the interviews it was important to talk it through. We gave people time to decide if they wanted to take part and share their views about this topic, especially as it is going to be available online. Exploring ageism and discrimination with older people from diverse communities was really interesting, as was learning more about the practical side; recording, editing and storytelling.

Technically, of course, things went wrong! Using Zoom to do the interviews meant that varying wi-fi connection affected the sound quality. If it had been safe, I would have preferred to interview people in person, as it’s so much easier to get a good chat going face-to-face. This would also have made it easier to get better quality recordings.

So my top tips are: if possible interview in person, using a plug-in microphone, in a quiet room. If you use Zoom and the connection isn’t good, get them to turn their camera off, or rearrange and try again with a better connection. There are lots of free online resources and tools to use. We like Audacity for editing. You can build up your confidence with an online course like The Power of Podcasting for Storytelling.

We think podcasts are a great way to turn up the volume of older people’s voices and stimulate discussion. We hope you will enjoy listening to the wisdom shared by older people from diverse communities in Leeds. Big thanks again to everyone who helped us make our first podcast.

Age Proud Leeds – Diverse Voices

Jude Woods
Communities Officer, Time to Shine