Bristol Ageing Better and Aardman join forces to tackle loneliness amongst older people

27 Sep 2015

The award-winning animations studios, Aardman and the Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) partnership have created a short film illustrating local older people’s experience of social isolation in the city, and what they can do to be less lonely.  

There are an estimated 11,000 lonely older people in Bristol. BAB works with local organisations to help older people across the city live fulfilling lives. The partnership is led by Age UK Bristol and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. 

The animation was successfully premiered as part of the launch of the 2015 Celebrating Age Festival, which highlights the positive contribution the over 50s make to life in Bristol. The celebration took place at the MShed on the 27th September.  

The short film features the voices of real Bristolians talking about their experiences of later life, and aims to raise awareness of the effects of social isolation among older people, while promoting positive activities and BAB as a single point of contact for people to get involved and improve their lives.  

BAB animation - cat in gym with rooster

Local older people shared their experiences with Aardman and BAB to create the animation. 

Judith Brown, Deputy Chair of BAB and Chair of Bristol Older People's Forum said: “BAB partnership has over 130 organisations with all sorts of activities to make life more enjoyable. We wanted to reach out in a fun way to people who may not be in contact with anyone else, and invite them to contact us. Aardman used the voices of local people, and I think the film is brilliant, and will help people to be less lonely." 

Heather Wright, Executive Producer at Aardman added: “Hearing the voices of older people in Bristol talking about loneliness, helped us to understand just how easy it is for people to become lonely.   They gave us real stories that touched our hearts and minds.  Our job was simply to bring them to life in a memorable way whilst addressing what is undoubtedly a serious issue for us all.” 

BAB animation - dog on a bench

The animation features iconic landmarks of the city. In the background: Clifton Suspension Bridge. 

Jackie Prescott, one of the volunteers whose voices were used for the animation said following the premiere: “I was excited and very comfortable with it, it was lovely, it was really fun. Joan Owens, also starring in the animation added: “If I can make people laugh I’m happy and I think if we can laugh with older people we’ll live longer.” 

BAB welcomes any organisation aiming to improve the lives of isolated older people in Bristol to join the partnership. Please visit www.bristolageingbetter.org.uk to watch the animation and to find out more about how to take part in this great initiative. 


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