News

Colston Hall signs up to Age-Friendly Standards

As part of our ambition to be a welcoming venue to everyone Colston Hall have signed up to the Age-Friendly Standards which launched last week on Thursday 10 August.

The Age-Friendly Standards have been developed in consultation with leading experts including Age UK, 170 arts and cultural organisations, and older arts attenders to identify best practice for organisations and event organisers who want to provide a welcoming and positive experience for everyone, regardless of their age.

Whilst many of the Age-Friendly Standards relate to general inclusive practice, they also acknowledge that older people may be more likely to experience barriers to engagement than younger family members and there is a need for cultural organisations to adopt measures to discourage the reported drop-off in cultural engagement amongst older people. This is further reinforced by Age UK’s recent research that identifies cultural engagement as the biggest contributing factor to wellbeing in later life.

The Age-Friendly Standards also acknowledge the significant benefits of providing opportunities for different generations to engage in cultural activities together, and encourage organisations to facilitate these experiences.

We hope that by signing up to these best practice standards, and with the specialist staff training we have already undertaken, we can continue our aim to diversify our audiences and create a venue that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Christine Swain, Head of Customer Services at Colston Hall said “We are proud to have signed up to The Age-Friendly Standards which are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards as we want to ensure good practice in welcoming families. The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance for us on welcoming older family members and enables us to consider the often more complex needs of older visitors.

“Bristol Music Trust currently have two Dementia Champions and we have many people who are Dementia Friends within the organisation.  We are looking forward to the transformation of the hall and during our closure period we will be engaging with communities across Bristol to ensure our new facilities can enable people of all ages to attend concerts and events when we re-open in 2020.”

Who are the Age-Friendly Standards for?

The Age-Friendly Standards apply to any type of cultural experience, from museums, concert halls, libraries and art galleries, to dance companies, theatre groups, music ensembles and festivals.

They are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards which codify good practice in welcoming families. The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older family members, and displaying the logo affirms that an organisation has considered the often more complex needs of older visitors.

As an organisation, Colston Hall will be focusing our efforts to become more inclusive and welcoming by:

  • building relationships between different generations
  • considering specific needs of older age groups when programming
  • providing appropriate facilities with particular attention to physical and mental accessibility
  • evaluating our ways of communication to older people
  • providing an atmosphere that is attentive and considerate to the needs of everyone

For more information on the Age-Friendly Standards visit the Fantastic For Families website here.

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