Older People

Television and newspapers report attacks on older people, these have gained higher prominence and frequency in the news. The detrimental effect has been acknowledged in the Northern Ireland Office Stay Safe, Stay Secure campaign and the pilot Lock Out Crime (LOC) scheme. This innovative multi-agency scheme is essential in providing older people with the physical apparatus to secure their homes as well as the information about what to do in unfamiliar situations. Nevertheless the perception of the fear of crime and the resultant experience of isolation, vulnerability and powerlessness are real and unconsciously promoted through the media.

The Ten Stories High projects worked alongside these initiatives, and gave older people the opportunity to actively and creatively engage with young people in their community through the familiar medium of storytelling. To express their views by drawing on the wealth of memories, anecdotes, experiences, feelings, etc. By working with young people using digital technology intimidatory barriers have been addressed with the ultimate aim of reducing the fear of crime and the sense of individual disenfranchisement.

The older people focused on the changes in society and lack of opportunities for young people today because of poor community relations and the impact of urban regeneration on local recreational facilities. They also talked about how the changes in society have changed the behaviour of today’s youth and their attitudes to older people. The older people talked about the hardship of their youth but also the freedom they had to explore their own city the interaction and interdependence of different sections of the community and the respect and camaraderie of people in the city living and working together. The older people talked about their experience of youth as, going out in the morning and not coming home till late, and no one worried about strangers or fighting’ ‘We had fields and woods and green places to play, today they can’t kick a ball or have a game of skipping with all the traffic’