Third Age Project was established over two decades ago in January 1997 to serve the needs of 1 in 4 of the local population who are over 60 years of age.
How we started
TAP’s mission is to turn on its head the prevalent view that the Third Age is a burden on society and promote the view old people are valuable and important assets to be placed at the very heart of a community. In doing so we transform older people’s lives, nurture creative aspiration, co-produce low cost services and build community, reversing the declining quality of life and well-being of the elderly.
What we do
We provide a wide range of social, cultural, educational, healthy living and basic life skill courses, as well as befriending and support services, with the aims of improving quality of life, general health and wellbeing, and to equip older people with the confidence and knowledge to exercise greater choice and influence over decisions that affect their lives. These services are undertaken to further our charitable purposes for the public benefit.
Where we operate
We operate out of our own Centre situated on a large high rise housing estate that is one of the most ethnically diverse in London particularly in regards to the range of home languages and the numbers of religions practiced. Such diversity may be seen as presenting many barriers to social cohesion and people getting to know and trusting each other or as we see it as an extraordinary community asset.
There are stark and widening social, economic and health inequalities that exist with average lifespans more than ten years shorter than in more affluent areas. Moreover, they are more likely to experience poor health and develop long term health condition during their final ten years. The area contains some of the poorest pensioners in the borough who largely live alone, above the ground in flatted social rented accommodation, on low incomes and suffer poor health. Older residents are at high risk of experiencing social isolation and loneliness as a result of fulfilling such risk factors.
There are few safe and secure local places and opportunities for new comers and those living alone to meet others and build trusting relationships. As we get older we become more vulnerable to social isolation at transitions in our lives such as bereavement and retirement with a need to create new friendships and personal support networks. Our Centre has become a much valued and highly popular place providing a warm welcome to everybody.
Those from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and/or who identify as LGBT are particularly vulnerable to being socially isolated. Camden’s BME population (33.8%) is significantly higher than the English average (14.1%) and has poorer health outcomes than the wider community, and greater difficulty in accessing health, social care and other services. Given the high levels of mental health needs (3rd highest in London), over 3,000 older people are likely to be experiencing depression or anxiety.