Older residents in south Cumbria are thriving thanks to new strategies to engender a more socially inclusive environment.

Cumbria Community Foundation, part of the UK's Network of Age Friendly Communities, is joining forces with key contributors to develop a localised approach to an age-friendly locale following the World Health Organisation's framework.

Given that Cumbria has a 'super-ageing' population, meaning there is an increasing older population and decreasing younger one, the objective is to promote healthy and active later lives.

A private donor gave the initial capital to establish Age Friendly South Lakeland and employ an Age Friendly coordinator, Katie Gatt, for a two year period.

Further funding was received from the Morecambe Bay CCG Population Health Fund.

Katie will curate opportunities and events for the elderly community.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to embracing this new role. Working with our older residents is a real honour, they have so many interesting stories to tell. It’ll be great to be able to help make their futures a little easier."

Coinciding with International Day of Older Persons, an Age Friendly Festival will be held at Kendal Leisure Centre on October 1.

Organisations and partners will network from 9.30am to 11.30am, after which the public will be welcomed until 3pm.