David Hunt: Age-friendly champion
David joined the Age Friendly Nottingham Steering Group in 2015, using his highly analytical mind to ensure that policy and strategy in Nottingham reflects the needs of people in later life.
David tells us more about his involvement with the city’s age-friendly initiative.
David Hunt joined the Age Friendly Nottingham (AFN) Steering Group in December 2015. A former accountant, David has been retired for some years, but retains a highly analytical and detail-orientated mind which he has been deploying to support the work of the Steering Group.
We interviewed David to ask him about how and why he got involved with the city’s age-friendly initiative.
'Like all the things I enjoy, it’s about doing something to help.'
David often says to himself, 'Well, I can do some more.' So when asked to join the Steering Group, he immediately thought it was a good cause and one which he could contribute to.
David’s particular interest is making sure that policy and strategy in Nottingham considers the needs of people in later life.
One of his major contributions to the Steering Group has been helping them develop responses to council and NHS consultations using briefings and feedback from the public forums which the Steering Group regularly hold to present the latest data and information across a range of topics that might impact on the age friendliness of the city.
David has always been proactive, keeping the steering group updated on the latest developments, such as planning applications, raising where any emerging news might affect older people in the community.
If you do practical things, then charters and structures and things will follow. Go for it is the answer!
One area in which he has been particularly active is accessible transport. Having good quality, accessible and affordable transport links is crucial for many older people to continue using services in their community. An example of this is when he was heavily involved in the changes being made to Nottingham Train Station – he was active in ensuring that the taxi rank was moved to a more convenient and more accessible location, especially for travellers with reduced mobility. He also lobbied for better, more age-friendly signage directing people to onward travel links, influencing where the new signs were located. His persistence has been key.
While David would still like to do more, the onset of a health condition in recent months limits his ability to get involved.
'What I tend to do is rotate my work on the grounds of staying fresh, though at the moment I’m doing almost nothing because I’m housebound. I’ve had five hospital admissions this year.'
He hasn’t been able to attend the group meetings more recently, but he keeps in touch – by sharing news about what other places are successfully trying around the country he still offers ideas to continue to make Nottingham more age-friendly and dementia-friendly. When David is well enough, the steering group hopes to welcome him back.
On what advice to offer people in other communities who are trying to make them more age-friendly, David says this: 'Set up something and then let the group dynamic work it through.'
'If you do practical things, then charters and structures and things will follow. Go for it is the answer!'