Date: Wednesday 7th December 2016
Venue: The Oxford Academy, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6JZ
Earlier this month Living Well Oxford paid a visit to The Oxford Academy (http://www.theoxfordacademy.org.uk/). This was the first of our consultations with the community local to Templars Square Shopping Centre. We are running these sessions to gather community members’ views, to inform the development of our Ageing: From Birth and Beyond “pop-up shop” which will open in Templars Square during Dementia Awareness Week in May 2017.
This focus group comprised a group of Year 12 and 13 pupils, who were encouraged to discuss their views and ideas about the “pop-up shop” project, and the topic in more general terms. We started the session exploring their perceptions of ageing and dementia, what they were looking forward to in later life and what concerned them about getting older / ageing. Interestingly, two of the top three concerns were illness and dying.
However, when it came to thinking about what they would be doing when they are older, the pupils envisaged active lives.
We then moved on to think about what ageing-related research topics were of most interest to them. We have a working list of local research scientists and health professionals who have expressed an interest in participating in the “pop-up shop”, and the pupils were asked to rank these topics in order of interest. Top of their list of was cancer, followed by brain development, and how the brain ages.
Next we explored what types of activities they would like to see included in the “pop-up shop”.
At the top of their list of recommendations were: hands-on activities, games, crafts, food, experiments and real science.
As the “pop-up shop” is a new endeavour for the Living Well Oxford project, we wanted to find out the pupils’ views on how best to market and evaluate the event. We divided the group into two teams, one to explore how we can encourage lots of people to come along, and one to discuss how we can measure the success of the event.
Working with The Oxford Academy pupils was a great opportunity. We are looking forward to incorporating their suggestions into the development of the “pop-up shop”, and we look forward to continuing our conversations with them as the project progresses.
We’ll keep you updated on future developments, so watch this space!