On the 12th of May CABS and the Centre for Policy on Ageing ran a study day that explored methodological and practical issues when user involvement had been achieved through links with existing older people’s organisations and groups.
The day was constructed to critically explore a range of ways in which older people had engaged with research. Julia Johnson started the day by reflecting on her experiences of working with volunteer researchers as part of her work with Sheena Rolph and Randall Smith in which they revisited Peter Townsend's study of residential care for older people. http://www.open.ac.uk/hsc/research/research-projects/the-last-refuge-revisited/the-last-refuge-revisited.php
Bill Bytheway then drew on his experiences of working with older people's groups as part of the RoAD project which investigated how age discrimination is experienced by older people. http://www.open.ac.uk/hsc/research/research-projects/road/home.php
In the afternoon I (Josie Tetley) gave a presentation along Stephanie Warren and Joan Walker from from Age UK Milton Keynes. In our presentation we described how members of Age UK had participated in a European technology project OPT-in. Our presentation can be accessed via the OPT-in project wiki website http://mcl.open.ac.uk/OptIn
The day concluded with a presentation from Jackie and Tony Watts who described the work of Enfield Borough Older People's forum and their European Over 50s project that is campaigning for a higher level of service for older people across Europe. http://www.enfieldover50sforum.org.uk/
Throughout the day there was lively questioning and discussion amongst participants. It was our first event at The Open University Camden office and whilst there were a few technical issues, the central London location was seen as a positive location for future seminars.