Toolkit of GOOD PRACTICES on Citizen Participation!


Q-AGEING


Country: Hungary

Context

The aim of the program is to encourage and facilitate activities for people over 60 years old, thus improving their mental health condition, while strengthening social cohesion between them. There are special activity groups (like crossword solving, photographing, etc.) and there are organized programs (excursions, theatre visits, etc.), voluntary activities and the combination of all these, which contribute to improve the sense of belonging to the local community.

Measure

The aim of the program is to encourage and facilitate the activity of people over 60, thus improving their mental health condition, while strengthening social cohesion between them. There are special activity groups (like crossword solving, photographing, etc.) and there are organized programs (excursions, theatre visits, etc.), voluntary activities and the combination of all these, which contribute to improve the sense of belonging to the local community.

Target Group

People over 60 years old, who - considering their age and health conditions - can be attracted to groups if their different special needs and their abilities are properly addressed. The borderline age is 75, where the number of initiatives is close to zero.

Methodology

The applied methods were public opinion polls and focus group meetings with the purpose of the sociological mapping of the district’s people over 60 years old, and to find out what kind of expectations they have in relation to the local government. They were asked for example what kind of program they would be interested in, and how much they would pay for it (e.g.: internet-based postgraduate studies). Moreover, they were asked about their preferences for hobbies, and they could also recommend events to be organized. Their willingness to participate in the implementation of the programs was also surveyed. The programs started with a chess course relying on some senior citizens with some expertise to teach their peers. In order to advertise the programs, a group of volunteers was involved, who regularly passed on information about the opportunities in their local communities, and reported back to the local government about the interest for the different programs. With the help of their work the local government was able to get a more authentic picture about the needs and the necessary circumstances they have to ensure.

Stakeholders

People over 60 years old and the local government staff were involved in the implementation.

Assessment

Based on the previous assessment of needs, more people got involved in the different programs. Unfortunately some ideas remained just such, however the program package still achieved its goal.

Impact

Improvement in mental health and increase in satisfaction with community initiatives. New relations were formed.

Swot

1. Strengths (characteristics of the measure that give it an advantage over others):
A lot of institutions, clubs, programs were already operating, but even more were organized
Sport facilities, parks, green areas
Improved flow of information regarding the residential volunteers work
New subway
2. Weaknesses (characteristics that place the measure at a disadvantage relative to others)
Passive mentality
Transport difficulties
Various conditions of elderly citizens
Uneven distributions of civil services in space
3. Opportunities (elements that the measure could exploit to its advantage):
More improvements in transportation (public transport, roads cleaning)
Improving public safety
Making voluntary work more popular
Expanding discount cards
4. Threats (elements in the environment that could cause trouble to the measure):
Reduction of resources
Ageing region
Unsuitable allowances
Segregation

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