An innovative project which improved the health and independence of older adults in Redbridge has been recognised at a national awards ceremony. 

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, delivered the ‘Streets Apart’ project in partnership with the London Borough of Redbridge with funding from the City Bridge Trust.

Streets Apart successfully improved health and wellbeing, reduced isolation and enhanced independence amongst over 65s through walking activities – earning the project the Best Sustainable Travel Initiative prize at the Modeshift Awards (7 November 2019).

As part of the project, Living Streets organised 61 led walks and carried out four ‘Community Street Audits’ to identify potential barriers to walking for older adults, going on to recommend solutions to overcome the issues to Redbridge Borough Council. The charity also trained up 56 volunteers so that they could continue to lead walks for older adults in the community once the project finished.  

94 per cent of the older adults who took part became more active, 86 per cent felt more connected to their community and 89 per cent saw improvements to their mental health.

Julia Crear, Director (South), Living Streets said:

“In many cases of inactivity in older adults, we see a lack of confidence being one of the main reasons that older adults don’t walk everyday journeys. Through Streets Apart, we sought to increase confidence in walking as a way to get around and meet new and current friends."

Streets Apart successfully increased levels of physical activity amongst over 65s, but just as importantly it helped people to feel connected to their community and less isolated.

Julia Crear, Director (South), Living Streets

The impact and recommendations from Streets Apart inspired other London boroughs to explore setting up their own older adult-focussed walking projects.

Building on the successful two-year project, the City Bridge Trust has again invested in walking as a solution to loneliness and inactivity. £135,250 will be spent over three years, extending across three boroughs: Redbridge, Havering, Barking & Dagenham.

Julia Crear continues:

“We’re thrilled that the City Bridge Trust has shown their support for walking being a brilliant solution to social isolation and inactivity levels in older adults.

“As our population ages, we need to address problems with easy and accessible solutions like walking. We had incredible results from the previous Streets Apart project in Redbridge, I look forward to seeing more in the coming years.”

Living Streets was also presented with a special ‘Contribution to Sustainable Travel’ award at the Modeshift Convention in recognition of the charity’s 90th anniversary. 


Julia Crear
Modeshift winners