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Sunderland Ageing Well Ambassadors

Ageing Well Ambassador Logo

Sunderland is recognised as being age-friendly and forms part of the UK network of Age-friendly Communities, which is made up of over 40 cities, towns, districts, and counties working together to share learning and promote age-friendly practices.

Our age-friendly plan for Sunderland is based on three themes:

  • Developing age-friendly neighbourhoods supporting Sunderland residents to live healthier lives for longer
  • Developing age-friendly services and enabling residents to live in their homes for as long as they want to
  • Promoting age equality and empowering older residents to have their say on the things that matter to them

As part of this, we want to ensure people who are ageing well feel confident in having their say on issues affecting them, in their community.

What the Ambassador role involves

An Ageing Well Ambassador is a voluntary role for an adult, aged 50+, who will take action to help raise awareness and spread the age-friendly message to others, so ageing well people's voices continue to be heard in communities across Sunderland.

Ambassadors will be co-designers with partners of age-friendly ideas, initiatives, and developments across the city.

Ambassadors may promote Age Friendly Sunderland within their workplace, sports team, place of worship, with family and friends or anywhere in their community.

Hear some of our ambassadors talk about what ageing well means to them:


Who we are looking for

Acting as a volunteer, the Ageing Well Ambassador's role is a flexible one, both in terms of time commitment and types of activities undertaken.

Ambassadors could contribute on a regular basis, by promoting and supporting age-friendly initiatives, or may wish to find ways to link their role in with the work they already do.

The role will suit anyone who is willing to connect with others and is passionate about having their say on issues affecting older people.

What an Ageing Well Ambassador could do

  • Raise awareness and promote age-friendly initiatives within your workplace, community or to the general public
  • Spread the message, talk to people about it, be an 'age positive' champion
  • Feedback information or questions to the Ageing Well Board for prompt resolution
  • Share information on social media relating to Age Friendly Sunderland
  • Make sure that the voice of people who are ageing well is heard by encouraging people to take part in consultations, campaigns and other opportunities for people to contribute
  • Encourage change when services are inaccessible or exclude ageing well people, making suggestions for adaptations and signposting for advice and guidance
  • Promote age-friendly initiatives
  • Encourage local businesses to sign up to age-friendly initiatives

In this initiative, Ryhope Sea Angling club worked with Newcastle University, Angling Trust and the National Innovation Centre Ageing to produce a short video called The skills in us - Joe and Bobby (opens new window).

Support and benefits for volunteers

All Volunteer Ageing Well Ambassadors will receive the following:

  • Opportunities to meet the other Ambassadors
  • Share ideas and make recommendations on issues affecting ageing well people through the Ageing Well Board
  • Receive support from the Council's Community Resilience Team
  • Contribute to specific projects as a valued peer
  • Participate in online training where appropriate
  • Benefit from a buddy system
  • Support the design and delivery of an annual event

Sunderland Falls prevention programme in communities 

Contact us and sign up

Please complete the Ageing Well Ambassador registration form to express your interest in the role.

Sunderland Falls prevention programme in communities 

Sunderland Strength and Balance programme is a FREE 14-week programme design for 50+ to improve their Strength, Balance, Independence, Confidence and to prevent falls.

The programme is tailored to meet your needs and to support you to make positive and long-lasting changes to your health.

As part of the programme, you will receive support via:

  • An initial assessment to assess your suitability and a final assessment to measure your progress
  • Weekly supervised simple exercise programme to improve your strength, balance, independence, confidence
  • Weekly education and information session covering a range of health and wellbeing topics
  • A home exercise booklet
  • Make new friends and peer support to tackle loneliness

Criteria for joining the programme:

  • You must be a Sunderland resident
  • Aged 50+
  • History of falls or near misses, fear of falling or reduced confidence
  •  Identified as having strength and balance deficits
  • Able to walk independently with a walking aid (3 or 4 wheeled walker/stick) or unaided
  • Able to sit to stand from a chair using arms independently
  • Able to stand for several minutes at a time, with or without support (such as holding onto a chair, if required)
  • Medically stable and in control of any long-term conditions

The programme is not suitable for people having,

  • Uncontrolled chest pain, joint or low back pain
  •  Severe dizziness
  • Recent injurious fall without medical examination
  • Recent surgeries
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure above 180mmHg
  • Severe sight or hearing loss

If you fulfil the above criteria, you can self-referral yourself to the programme. If you are in doubt, please discuss with your GP Surgery or Health Professional.

The programme will be delivered from:

North: Castle, Redhill, Southwick, Fulwell, St Peter's; Contact: 0191 5634749

  • Downhill Centre, Killarney Square, Downhill, Sunderland, SR5 4AY
  • Fulwell Library, Fulwell, SR6 8EH
  • Thompsons Park Hall, 7 Newbold Ave, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, SR5 1LG

West: St Anne's, Pallion, Barnes, Sandhill, St Chad's, Silksworth; Contact: 01915166083

  • Pennywell Community Centre, SR4 9AX
  • St Gabriels Church, 1 St Gabrieles Avenue Sunderland, SR4 7TF
  • Broadway Youth & Community Centre, SR4 8LP

East: Millfield, Hendon, St Michael's, Ryhope, Doxford; Contact: 01915166083

  • Bede Tower, Burdon Road, SR2 7DZ
  • Ryhope Community Centre, 2 Black Road, Ryhope, SR2 0RX
  • Raich Carter Sports Centre, Commercial Road, Hendon, SR2 8PD

Washington: East, West, North, South, Central; Contact: 01915373231

  • Millennium Centre Washington, NE37 2QD
  • Harraton Community Association, NE38 8BQ
  • House Of Destiny, NE38 9ET

Coalfields: Shiney Row, Houghton, Copt Hill, Hetton; Contact: 01915843840

  • Hetton Sports & Wellbeing Centre, DH5 9LZ
  • Trinity Community Hall, Shiney Row, Houghton le spring, DH4 4QT
  • Houghton Sports and Wellness centre, DH4 5AH

If you are interested in joining the programme, please contact the number of the centre you would prefer to attend

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