The Standards consist of a set of guidance including areas particularly associated with welcoming older audiences, and covering all aspects of the visitor experience from suitable programming to appropriate facilities, communications and the importance of building relationships.
Whilst many of the Age-Friendly Standards relate to general inclusive practice and strong customer service, they also acknowledge that older generations may be more likely to experience barriers to engagement than younger family members and that there is a need for organisations to implement comprehensive measures to discourage drop-off in cultural engagement in later life.
How we developed the Standards
The Standards were developed in consultation with leading experts including Age UK, and with the help of 170 arts and cultural organisations across the UK, as well as older arts attenders themselves.
So far 130 organisations across the UK have pledged to meet the Age-Friendly Standards, including Wigmore Hall, Birmingham Museums Trust, and Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham.
The Standards are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards which codify good practice in welcoming families, and are currently held by over 500 UK cultural organisations. The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older people, and displaying this new logo affirms that an organisation has considered the often more complex needs of older visitors.
The development of the Age-Friendly Standards is a response to reported trends which indicated a significant drop-off in cultural engagement in later life, due to multiple barriers which older people may encounter. The Standards support a major new 'Celebrating Age' fund launched this year by Arts Council England which aims to support cultural spaces and other organisations to be open, positive and welcoming places for older people; and taking high quality arts and culture into places where older people will find it easier to engage.
How to sign up
The Age-Friendly Standards apply to any type of cultural experience, from museums, concert halls, libraries and art galleries, to dance companies, theatre groups, music ensembles and festivals.
Alongside adopting the Standards, organisations wishing to develop their work with older family members can access resources, guidance and toolkits via the Family Arts Campaign website. They can also promote age-friendly on the Family Arts Campaign's listings website fantasticforfamilies.com. Standards holders will also be invited to a free Celebrating Age Sharing Seminar on 1st March 2018 in Leeds.
To sign up to the Age-Friendly Standards for free visit familyarts.co.uk/age-friendly