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Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton, one of Britain's newest cities, is located right in the heart of the West Midlands. The city is steeped in history, with beautiful buildings and churches to explore. The major industries within the city are both engineering based (including a large aerospace industry) and within the service sector. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2006 mid-year estimates puts the population of Wolverhampton at 236,900.
 

Wolverhampton ranks at the bottom 20% of English Local Authorities and Primary Care trusts over a number of social indicators, including life expectancy, deprivation and health. In Wolverhampton, eight out of twenty wards within the urban area are priority wards: they rank amongst the 10% wards with the highest level of deprivation in England (but the local authorities do not report a particular concentration of elderly people in these areas). The municipality of Wolverhampton also signals the problem of inclusion and combating the isolation of the elderly in local minorities, mostly African/Caribbean and Asian. Issues raised as priorities are community cohesion, empowerment, health and wellbeing, enterprise and employment, housing and transport, strategic planning, and education. Main barrier for elderly people are lack of training, qualification and confidence, low expectation and esteem, long-term and growing unemployment, poor health and impaired ability, and age and sex discrimination. “Facing the challenge of an ageing community” programme is the municipality integrated approach involving 6 different types of policy response: promote older workers entrepreneurship, encourage social inclusion of local minorities (African Caribbean and Asian) in the community;  promoting the use of ICT to improve adaptability of older workers and foster job upgrade or change; prevent isolation and improving opportunity through education; contrast the effects of diminishing resources (credit constraints); improve access to transport and housing. The programme involves a partnership between public, private and third sector groups and is targeting 2000 people over 50 year old. The municipality expects to exchange experience on how to use community based activities (local centres) to promote cohesion, to set up new businesses (local centres and specialists IAG) and to ease elderly approach to technology  to promote  independent life and work.

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