BAB has announced £880,000 to commission exciting new initiatives that help older people in the city enjoy a fulfilling later life. The commissioning will be released on October 1st 2017 to mark the UN’s International Day of Older Persons.
The money will fund nine projects which focus on reducing social isolation by improving wellbeing, and empowering older people. These include therapy-based support and activities, food and nutrition projects and intergenerational work.
Bristol Ageing Better Programme Director Adam Rees said: “Someone might get plenty of social contact but still feel lonely and isolated; at BAB we believe that it’s about ensuring older people have the type and quality of social contact that they want. Different older people have different needs, so the projects we’re focusing on offer the opportunity to reduce loneliness and isolation in a wide range of ways.
“We’ve called this round of commissioning ‘Building Blocks for Wellbeing’, because we’re looking for projects and services that will connect with others across the BAB programme to build people up. We want to create a foundation of confidence and wellbeing on which to reduce older people’s isolation and loneliness.”
The decision to commission these projects was made following the funding of over 140 projects in the first two years of the programme. Most projects received between £1,000 and £15,000 to trial ideas that might prevent or reduce social isolation and loneliness. These allowed BAB to establish models which worked well and use this learning to inform how money could be best spent in the future.
A common theme established by the pilots was that successful projects often reduced social isolation by improving people’s wellbeing and confidence. The new projects therefore focus on innovative ways of doing this. The pilots which BAB has previously funded included projects such as inter-generational groups of students and care-home residents working together to create art, shared reading groups for people with dementia and telephone counselling services, amongst others.
Since 2015, BAB has spent over £1.5 million and committed almost £3 million more to fund pilots and services in a range of areas. The five year project aims to learn the best ways to tackle loneliness and isolation in older people, and is part of a larger network of Ageing Better organisations around the UK.
Organisations interested in bidding for the commissioning can find out more here.
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