We launched the Community Kick-Start Fund in January 2016, and what a year it has been! We’ve read through a huge number of applications for new activities, and have been thrilled at how many ideas have come from or been developed with older people themselves. Supporting work that prioritises the views of older people at every stage is very important to BAB, which is why the decision as to what activities should be funded is also made by older people, in the form of the older volunteers on our Steering Group. Deciding which applications to fund is always a challenge, but our Steering Group are brilliant at discerning which activities are older people-led, which have a robust sustainability plan in place and which are likely to have a strong, long-term impact on isolation and loneliness.
Photo: Elderly People's Club - Overseas Chinese Association
We’ve now funded close to 60 new activities, covering every neighbourhood partnership in Bristol and each with a unique way of tackling loneliness, from English classes for elders from the Chinese and South Asian communities to the formation of an older person’s acting company in Monica Wills House and a series of outdoor crafts workshops on Purdown. We’ve heard many stories of older people being given a new lease of life through coming to Kick-Start funded activities, either because there weren’t previously social opportunities that were accessible to them or because they have been given the opportunity to share skills they’d not used in a while or flex creative muscles they didn’t know they had. Some projects have continued beyond the Kick-Start funding as participants have volunteered to lead sessions that were previously facilitated by professionals or because the new friendships people have formed have led to them forming their own activity group.
Take a look at the Community Kick-Start Fund page for a list of the activities funded so far, and if you’d like details of any of the activities you’ll find them on the ‘Events & Activities’ page. We’ll next be reviewing applications in April, and the deadline will be 5:00 on Friday 7th April. If you’d like to submit an application, have a read through of the application form and guidance notes and feel free to give Bianca Rossetti a ring on 0117 9281539 if you have any questions at all – We love hearing about people’s ideas and are always happy to chat about what kinds of activities the fund is designed to support and what we hope organisations will demonstrate In their applications.
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