As part of her work to support older Basingstoke residents Maria Miller, Basingstoke’s MP met Oakley’s new Evergreen Advocate.
Maria said, “The notion is often that Basingstoke, and the surrounding areas of the borough, are full of young families, but the facts are that we are the fastest ageing town in Hampshire and the 27th fastest ageing community in the country.
In the new Local Plan Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council needs a clearer strategy to adapt local services to meet the needs of older residents and should be looking to recalibrate how our community resources are used to meet the needs of our growing older community.
“It was great to meet Anna Knight the new Evergreen Advocate during a visit to St Leonard’s Church, Oakley. This new advocacy role will help ensure that the older residents in the Oakley and Wootton St Lawrence areas can make better connections in the community, and tackle the issue of loneliness. It’s important every resident can be to be part of community life and doesn’t become detached from society".
Maria added, “The Oakley Support Network along with other Basingstoke groups, played an important role during the Covid pandemic helping ensure vulnerable people were cared for. For some older residents post pandemic, mobility has become a concern. This has been reflected in reduced use of public transport and increased use of online shopping. This can reduce social interaction and cause some older residents to become isolated, so it was great to hear that the new Evergreen Advocate will be attending and collaborating with groups, coffee mornings, social meetings and liaising with Watership Down Health Centre to build links within the community”.