Who We Are
BAB is a partnership of individuals and organisations working together to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol.
About the project
In 2017 community development coordinator, Magda from LinkAge, visited Hengrove community centre to meet the Over 50s Club, a self-organised and self-funded social group. The group had run the same activities for an extended period and wanted to look into the possibilities of trying new activities.
The club decided to trial a sing-along and a sitting exercise class.
Together with the Chair, Magda arranged the first sing-along with an entertainer who sang and encouraged everyone to get involved, singing and shaking the maracas. People gradually joined in, even those who had been initially reluctant and later commented how much they had enjoyed it.
After the session, the group discussed how the session went and agreed to plan more. Magda talked about funding and agreed that the LinkAge Network Community Activity Budget would cover half of the cost (total amount for the whole year is £150) and the group will raise funds for the other half. All agreed to contribute towards the cost of the future sessions.
What difference did it make?
Currently the group has planned five sing-along sessions for the rest of the year; every other month. They are also looking into sitting exercise activities, and the Chair has made some contacts already.
One participant said,”The group needed a boost, and I am looking forward to new things.”
What was the learning?
Magda said, “It took seven months from my initial visit in the club and various chats with members, to the actual first new activity at the end of February. It’s an example of the importance of trust and relationship building in community development work and moving along the community at their own pace.
The group is leading organising the activities. My initial role was to start the conversation about trying new things and then supportng in the organising of the first session. Now the group is in direct contact with the entertainer and looks for other activities completely independently. I am there if they need me but I am not rushing into anything.”
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