How we work
In December 2015 the Government announced that it wanted to change the way it engages older people in policy development.
Previously Government had enabled this through a variety of mechanisms, including the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing (UKAFA). Although UKAFA had helped to make Government far more aware of the challenges and opportunities that an ageing society presents, Government decided that the time was right to build on this good work and adapt how it engages to ensure it complies with the Public Sector Equality Duty; integrating the consideration of equality into day-to-day business.
It is now for each Government Department to build relationships between older people and officials to ensure that through effective engagement, policy is designed to have the intended effect.
UKAFA enabled the nine English Regional Forums to bring the voice of older people to the attention of Government. Quarterly meetings of UKAFA were attended by the Minister for Work and Pensions and the Minister for Care. Each Regional Forum had a representative on UKAFA
At the same time notice was given that funding for the nine regional Forums was also to cease from April 2016. The nine Forums however, secured six months funding from Government to enable each to seek further funding to carry on the valuable work they had undertaken over the previous ten years.
Future Years conducted a survey across Yorkshire and Humber asking older people whether they wished Future Years to continue and if so what they felt were the priorities we should tackle in 2016/17.
There was a very positive response to our survey. Future Years has enough funding to carry out another year's work and following a planning day a Work Plan for 2016/17 has been published.
Future Years believes there is a gap in opportunities to listen to the voice of older people and their opinions and to ensure those in local and national Government hear and respond.The Future Years Forum agree their work priorities at an annual away day; the work priorities are set out in an annual workplan, which is updated with progress regularly.
Future Years has an Operational Group which consists of the Chair, Vice Chair and the Administrator. The role of the Operational Group is to implement and monitor decisions and plans made by the Forum.
Activities in the workplan will be carried out by Task and Finish Groups. Aim is to make best use of available expertise and skills and spread the workload more widely across the Future Years Forum.
The Work Priorities for Future Years for 2016_17
Raise awareness of issues identified by older people at our 2015 conference and our survey of members:
Alongside that Future Years will be working on sustainability as our funding from the DWP has come to an end.