From intergenerational boat-building projects to services offering counselling and support, Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) has funded a wide range of new projects to tackle social isolation in Bristol.
BAB Programme Manager Carly Urbanski says: “Bristol Ageing Better has now been running for more than two and a half years.
“In that time, we’ve been able to pilot programmes and test approaches to find the most effective ways to deal with social isolation and loneliness in the city.
“We’ve gathered evidence about the best ways to help older people age well in Bristol, and now we’re putting it into practice and commissioning services which will help to achieve our goals.”
The projects which will receive funding are:
All Aboard, an organisation which uses water sports as a medium to improve life experience, health, physical and social opportunities for all in the beautiful and historic Bristol City Docks. It has received funding for two projects, including an intergenerational boat-building course.
Oasis Talking Therapies, which will build on learning from a previous BAB pilot to work with BME-led organisations to co-design and deliver culturally appropriate psychoeducational wellbeing courses to older people from Somali, Chinese, African-Caribbean, Sudanese and South Asian communities. It has also received funding to deliver face to face counselling in community venues and telephone counselling for carers.
The Reader, an organisation which use the funding to train and support older volunteers to deliver 40 Shared Reading groups. These will help to build confidence, reduce social isolation and increase integration of ‘at risk’ group members and volunteers.
Bristol & Avon Chinese Women’s Group, which will work with partners to deliver a project across Bristol, providing shared cooking experiences and nutritional skills to older people to improve health and wellbeing whilst reducing isolation.
Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, which will work in Lawrence Hill, Lockleaze and Greater Bedminster to engage older people in sheltered housing and pensioner preferred accommodation to improve their relationship with food. The project aims to bring back enjoyment, help people to rediscover skills and find solutions to accessing and utilising fresh food.
LinkAge, which aims to increase access to community groups by working with; existing groups to generate solutions to access for new members; at risk groups to identify barriers and create solutions, and individuals who would like to access a group but need some support.
Carly Urbanski says: “We’ve always been impressed by the standard of work that’s taking place in the city, and the bids we received were of a very high calibre.
“We can’t wait to see how our newest delivery partners rise to the challenge of making Bristol a great place to grow old.”
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