Podcasts

The Ambition for Ageing Podcast aims to brings different guests each week to discuss ageing and the places we live, looking at everything from social isolation and loneliness to the benefits of ageing and building age-friendly places. We are joined each week alongside academics and policy makers, researchers, front line delivery staff and of course, older people themselves.
 
The podcast is available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Spotify, iTunes and Google Play, just search for The Ambition for Ageing Podcast. Alternatively, you can listen on this webpage using the embedded players below.

Contents: Skip to an episode

  1. Why do we address social isolation?

  2. Why are there so many myths around loneliness?

  3. How can we work with communities to build capacity?

  4. Why are places and spaces important for communities to survive and thrive?

  5. What do we know about how inequality drives social isolation? (Part 1 of a two part episode on inequalities).

  6. Stories from older people on the impact of inequality and importance of diversity. (Part 2 of a two part episode on inequalities).

  7. Is a truly accessible evaluation process possible? (Bonus)


Episode 1: Why do we address social isolation?

There’s been a shift in recent years towards looking at social isolation and loneliness as an area of policy. We talk to our guests Paul McGarry and Kate Jopling about the move from deficit-based models where we link ageing purely to health and social care to looking at assets and supporting older people to continue being active within their communities.
 
Topics covered include the impact of cuts and population changes on how we age, why the difference between loneliness and social isolation is important and how understanding the difference between the two can shape how we support people. This episode also features short discussions with Ageing Better partners Vic Stirling from Sheffield, Stephen Raybold from Birmingham and Corinna Hyman from Camden.
 


Episode 2: Why are there so many myths around loneliness?

Loneliness is a hot topic at the moment, especially in the context of COVID. But does focusing so much on loneliness as a problem of older age mean that we miss loneliness throughout the life course, perpetuate stereotypes of older people and drive funding and support away from other issues older people are facing? We discuss this and the many other myths around loneliness with Professor Christina Victor, the professor and gerontology and public health at Brunel University.
 
Later on in the episode, we are also joined by Richard Dowsett from the National Lottery Community Fund, where we’ll discuss why they decided to make a £84 million investment to improve the lives of people aged over 50 by addressing both social isolation and loneliness within local communities.
 


Episode 3: How can we work with communities to build capacity?

In the first of two episodes looking deeper at empowering communities to change the places they live, the Ambition for Ageing team catch up with community workers in local neighbourhoods to discuss what already needs to exist in a place to begin with, what support to build capacity looks like, how inequalities existing in place can impact on building community capacity and more.
 
We’re joined by Yasmin Holgeth and Julie Bentley, both of whom worked with their local communities as part of Ambition for Ageing to identify, develop, fund and run a huge number of projects, all in the name of reducing social isolation and increasing age-friendliness.
 


Episode 4: Why are places and spaces important for communities to survive and thrive?

In the second of two episodes looking deeper at empowering communities to change the places they live, we talk spaces, places and relationships with experts in the field of social capital and social infrastructure.
 
In this episode, we speak to Dr Sophie Yarker, a research associate at the University of Manchester about the role of social infrastructure and the benefit it brings to building age-friendly communities and researcher Susanne Martikke about how the third sector can use social capital theory to both demonstrate value and better service their communities, as well as the dangers of social capital, as well as its benefits.
 


Episode 5: What do we know about how inequality drives social isolation?

In this first episode of a two-parter looking at how inequality drives social isolation, we take both a practical and academic approach to the subject, featuring interviews with Professor James Nazroo, an expert in ageing and inequalities and we re-join a conversation between Ambition for Ageing lead in Bury, Julie Bentley and Sharon Summers.
 
Topics covered include how inequalities can have an impact on the opportunities people have to have a say in their local communities, the impact of inequality on people as they age, the stark health outcomes that are connected to these inequalities and how an off-the-cuff suggestion led to a Rainbow Train to celebrate Pride.
 


Episode 6: Stories from older people on the impact of inequality and importance of diversity.

In this episode, we hear life stories from a number of different older people, who share their experiences of growing older as a member of a marginalised community as well as their experiences of and discrimination.
 
We talk to older people from Pride in Ageing LGBT group, the Greater Manchester BAME Network and the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network about the impact of inequality and importance of diversity.
 


BONUS Episode 7: Is a truly accessible evaluation process possible?

In this bonus episode, we look at running research programmes and explore the question of whether the nature of research can indirectly influence its findings and ask whether we can be both inclusive and accurate when researching people who are socially isolated.
 
Our guests this week are Sarah Wilkinson from the LGBT Foundation, who supported the Equalities Board to run equalities reviews of Ambition for Ageing, Dr. Sophie Yarker, a research associate at the University of Manchester and Jess Thorley an evaluation officer based at Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
 


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