Ageing Well Stories 

Wales is a nation of older people, and older people make a massive contribution to our culture, our society and our economy. Growing older is something we all aspire to, and something which should be celebrated. However, we don’t just want to live longer, we want to age well and continue to be able to do the things that matter to us whatever our age.

While later life can bring its challenges, it can also be a time of great opportunity. With a little help and support, you can enjoy some of your best years in later life.

I established Ageing Well in Wales as a social movement to bring people together, to create positive change, and to make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone. We have always championed the little things that make a big difference to the lives of older people. Through the Ageing Well in Wales network, I have been privileged to meet so many individuals and organisations who are making our villages, towns and cities better places to grow older in.

Ageing Well Stories is a collection of the thoughts and experiences of Ageing Well in Wales network members who are making a difference in their communities. Their stories show that we all have it within us to create change in our society, and the incredible things that can be achieved when communities come together.

The stories in this collection also show how getting involved and choosing to make a difference can also make a positive impact on your own life. Almost everyone spoke about what they did in terms of how much fun they were having, and of the great friendships they have made.

I’d like to thank everyone who gave their time to share their stories with us for this collection. They, and many more like them, are at the heart of Ageing Well in Wales. I hope that their stories inspire you as much as they have inspired me. Together, we will make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone.

Sarah Rochira

Older People's Commissioner for Wales | Chair, Ageing Well in Wales




Dementia Supportive






Loneliness &



Opportunities for Learning

& Employment


Get active

  • Ann (eng)


    Ann takes part in classes organised by Elderfit, which focus on strength and balance to reduce the risk of falling.


  • Carole & Shiela (eng)

    Carole & Sheila

    Carole and Sheila are friends who take part in local Tai Chi classes run by Age Cymru.


  • Emma (eng)


    Emma Quaeck is the Dementia GO Project Manager, a physical activity and support scheme for people living with dementia and carers. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion and Chairperson of Porthmadog Dementia Friendly Communities.


Get involved

  • Gill & Maureen (eng)

    Gill & Maureen

    Gill and Maureen volunteer with Solva Care, a community project set up by Solva Community Council to provide support and help for those who need it locally.


  • Teresa (eng)


    Teresa campaigns for the rights of people living with dementia. Along with a friend, she has setup “A Friendly Face”, a peer support scheme for people in Flintshire who have been diagnosed with dementia.


  • Suzanne (eng)


    Suzanne volunteers with the Read to Me scheme run by Torfaen Library Service, which brings people together to read with those who can’t get out to a library themselves, or are unable to read on their own due to illness or disability.


Learn something new

  • Alan, Don & Walter (eng)

    Alan, Don & Walter

    Alan, Don and Walter are all members of the Squirrel’s Nest, a Men’s Shed in Tondu, Bridgend.


  • Flintshire U3A (eng)

    Flintshire U3A

    Carole, Chris, Stuart, Elizabeth and Linda are members of Flintshire U3A (University of the Third Age), which is a volunteer-led learning group based around the principles of learning for pleasure. They run a range of activities based around learning and sharing skills between members.


  • John (eng)


    John lives in Maesteg, and since 2016 has been the chairman of the local Men’s Shed, working to lessen loneliness and isolation amongst men in the locality.


Be creative

  • Arts4Wellbeing (eng)


    Bill, Chrissie, Christine and Honor all volunteer with Arts4Wellbeing. Arts4Wellbeing organise groups and activities to bring people together through arts and creativity, and is coordinated by Mike and Sara.


  • Gwanwyn club (eng)

    Gwanwyn club

    Alan, Carol, Kate and Julia are members of the Gwanwyn arts club in Aberystwyth, which is coordinated by Martine. The club was inspired by the activities of the annual Gwanwyn festival organised by Age Cymru, which celebrates creativity in older age.


  • Lisa (eng)


    Lisa is a professional artist who lives in North Wales. In her work, Lisa has collaborated with people living with dementia as part of the Dementia and Imagination project.


Be heard

  • Chris (eng)


    Chris was diagnosed with mixed dementia at 50. Along with his wife Jayne, Chris campaigns for the rights of people with dementia, sharing his experience in groups and at events all over the world. Chris is an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, and the Vice Chairperson of the European Working Group of People with Dementia.


  • Gaynor (eng)


    Gaynor is the chair of COPA (Cymru Older People’s Alliance), a member of Pembrokeshire 50+ Forum and an active volunteer in her community.


  • WOFF (eng)

    WOFF (Wrexham Over Fifties Forum)

    Barbara, Eluned, Jean, Karen, Margaret, Marion, Pete and Sylvia are all members of WOFF (Wrexham Over Fifties Forum) which supports older people living in Wrexham.


Make a difference

  • Jeannette, Linette & Ray (eng)

    Jeanette, Linette & Ray

    Jeanette, Linette and Ray volunteer at Moorland Community Centre in Splott, which puts on a range of services and activities for older people.


  • Pete & Steve (eng)

    Pete & Steve

    Pete and Steve volunteer with Prestatyn Artisans Collective, an arts and craft centre based in the Old Library in Prestatyn which supports a range of community groups and activities.


  • Rhiannon (eng)


    Rhiannon is a founder member of Brecon Dementia Friendly Community and Dementia Matters in Powys.


  • Shabir (eng)


    Shabir is a Community Connector working for Newport City Council, with a focus on BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities. The Connectors support older people to keep in touch with local activities, groups and clubs.


  • Sharon (eng)


    Sharon is the Learning, Participation and Interpretation Manager for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, and has been leading the work to make National Museum sites more age-friendly.


  • Stuart (eng)


    Stuart is a member of Wrexham Football Supporters Trust, and has been closely involved with making the club a Dementia Friendly venue.