‘Amar bari, amar jibon’ (My home, my life): developing living environments for Bangladeshi elders, is a pioneering 36-month long research project, funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust, that will focus on the entrenched housing and health inequalities of Bangladeshi elders (‘probin’ in Bangla) in East London. The project launched on 26th March 2022, Bangladeshi Independence Day.
A dynamic team led by The Open University (OU) in partnership with the Bangla Housing Association (BHA) and the Housing LIN (Learning and Information Network) and involving both local Bangladeshi communities and practitioners will together explore diversity and inclusion in later life living environments and communities.
The voice of this older or ‘probin’ community is seldom heard, and this research sets out to hear their voice, communicate cultural preferences, and empower the community to have a greater say in local housing plans and strategies. It will develop a knowledge base of their experiences and aspirations regarding meaning of place – home, housing, and neighbourhood environments, and implications for wellbeing.
This project is the first in-depth research of its kind in the UK. It will benefit East London communities through:
- developing more empowered local communities;
- helping to create skilled and competent community researchers;
- hearing the voices of local people;
- providing a detailed understanding of current and future housing needs of Bangladeshi probin;
- contributing to informing debates on housing and support, and how local housing strategies and investment plans can better address housing for later life.
Dr. Manik Gopinath commented “The Open University Team is delighted to be working with Bangla Housing Association, Housing LIN and members of the Bangladeshi communities in East London to learn from probin (i.e., elders) about their lives and homes.”
Bashir Uddin, CEO of the Bangla Housing Association said “We are very excited about working with The Open University and Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) on this important research project. This intense study will produce the much-needed evidence and hard facts about the current living arrangements, health and wellbeing, and aspirations of the currently marginalised Bangladeshi Probin (elders) in East London in their own words.”
Jeremy Porteus, CEO of the Housing LIN added “We are immensely proud to partner The Open University and Bangla Housing Association in this Dunhill Medical Trust funded social action research project. It offers a unique opportunity to directly involve and support the older Bangladeshi community in East London to share their lived housing and care experiences and help give them greater voice to have a say on how local strategies and plans can better reflect their needs and aspirations.”
Susan Kay, CEO of The Dunhill Medical Trust says“As an organisation, we have made a strategic commitment to support initiatives that build and deliver suitable living environments and communities for an ageing population. This project is very much part of that commitment and we look forward to working with all the project partners to help them achieve their goals.”