Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:45

Rural film receives TV debut

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural film receives TV debut

A film highlighting the challenges faced by older people in the countryside is to receive its TV debut.

The 12-minute Over the Hill? drama, created by the Rural Media Company, will be aired by the Community Channel at 11.30pm on Friday (16 November).

Further screenings will follow in November and December.

Starring Doreen Mantle (One Foot in the Grave), the film tells the story of a middle aged couple from the city coming to view their dream retirement cottage in the country.

By the end of the film, the couple realise that life in the countryside isn't always a bed of roses.

The Over the hill? campaign aims to raise awareness of the challenges of rural ageing.

As well as this drama short film, the campaign includes a series of eight 'best practice' case study films depicting excellence in rural retirement services.

All resources, which include an in-depth report of each case study and a fact sheet for those contemplating rural retirement, are accessible free of charge from the campaign website.

Rural Media Company project coordinator Jan Bailey said: "We are grateful for the Community Channel's support in screening the film."

"Within 20 years half the adult population in England will be aged 50 and over, with rural areas ageing at a faster rate than in urban areas.

We know that many people in their 50s and 60s dream of a rural retirement. Our aim is not to put people off retiring to the countryside.

"Instead, we are trying to raise awareness of the issues so that those contemplating a rural retirement know what to expect and can therefore take a proactive approach to their retirement."

Over the hill? is funded by the Nationwide Foundation. Its partners are Action with Communities in Rural England and Age UK.

Within 20, years half the adult population in England will be aged 50 years and over and will account for 40% of the total population.

But the rural population is ageing at an even faster rate than the urban population, with the fastest rate of growth among the 'oldest old' – those people aged over 75.

At the same time, disadvantage is more likely to be hidden in the countryside, which increases the risk that problems are not recognised or are overlooked.

Challenges include limited access to transport and to social networks, which can increase risks of social isolation for older people in rural areas.

Serving rural communities also presents challenges.

Populations are dispersed, communities and needs are diverse, vulnerable individuals can be hard to identify, and staff and volunteers difficult to recruit or retain.

Economies of scale are harder to achieve, and unit costs of rural provision not adequately reflected in central government funding.

The Community Channel is broadcast on Virgin 233, 24/7 on Sky 539 and on Freeview 87. Community Channel is available on BT Vision and Sky Anytime's On Demand Service.

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