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This project will help make Milton Keynes an accessible, Age Friendly City
Social isolation and loneliness is a growing problem. We want to make it easier for older people to visit the city centre to participate in art and cultural activities. We are going to do this by creating a digital map, of the city centre, highlighting relevant practical information, that older people can access.
The population of older people in Milton Keynes is growing rapidly - at about double the rate nationally. Many people have to give up their cars and even where they can drive they can see their mobility impaired in other ways. Concerns about health and other mobility issues can lead to a loss of confidence, meaning that people will stay at home with the potential to become lonely and socially isolated. This can have a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing.
We will develop an accessible digital map of the city centre that will highlight practical information such as: the location of disabled parking spaces; position of bus stops and routes served; location and opening hours of publicly accessible toilets; location of seats and other rest areas; information regarding facilities for people with mobility or sensory impairment in premises in the city centre. But it could also carry other information - such as details about public art; special offers in retail, leisure and restaurants; theatre, gallery, cinema programmes etc
This project is being developed in conjunction with a larger, Arts Council funded, project - Celebrating Age - which will be seeking to develop a programme and activities appropriate for older people in the expanded and redeveloped MK Gallery, opening in 2018/19. However, should the larger funding bid not succeed this project could proceed on a stand alone basis.
Age UK Milton Keynes - a local independent charity that works with a for older people. It will be our role to engage with older people - ensure that relevant information is collected for the digital map and that it is delivered on a platform that is accessible to older people.
MK Gallery - is embarking on a significant redevelopment and expansion of the current gallery space that will include new features and community facilities that will make it a more attractive venue for older people to meet and engage in cultural activities when it reopens in 2018/19.
Virtual Viewing - a locally based full service digital agency with extensive experience in digital mapping and creating virtual environments. They will bring technical expertise and interpret the requirements of older people into an accessible, working demonstration map, capable of being further developed, expanded and refined over time.