Community Kick-Start: What we’ve learned

20 Nov 2017

An older woman holds up a camera in front of her face

Bristol Ageing Better facilitated a successful shared learning event earlier this month with colleagues working on other Ageing Better projects around the country, including Ageing Better in Birmingham, Ageless Thanet, Connect Hackney and Brightlife Cheshire. We have now collated some learning from the event to share with our wider partnership.  

The event focused on BAB’s Community Kick-Start fund and similar initiatives being undertaken in the other Ageing Better areas. It provided an overview of how projects of this type are delivered in different areas, allowing participants to reflect on successes and challenges and to learn from each other.

In Bristol, the Community Kick-Start fund is one of the 16 initiatives that make up the BAB programme. BAB has committed £250,000 over five years to help kick start community activities which aim to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people locally. The fund allows organisations, groups and individuals to seek up to £2,000 for goods and services used for a new activity in this field.

Since its launch, other Ageing Better areas have also implemented similar schemes under different names, but the core goals have remained the same.

Key learning to emerge from this event centred around four main aspects of the project –

1. Promoting the fund
2. The application process
3, The funding panel
4. Support for successfully funded projects

If you’d like to read more about the learning which was collected in these areas, you can download the full learning document here.

BAB Programme Director Adam Rees said: “Through the Community Kick-Start fund we’ve been able to fund over 80 grassroots projects that reduce loneliness and isolation. From cooking classes to men in sheds, sometimes a small cash injection is all it takes to get a community enterprise off the ground.

“Of course, there are always improvements to be made and we’re lucky to have had the opportunity to meet with others delivering similar projects and talk through the successes and learning experiences we have had. We’re confident that what we learned at the event will allow us to deliver an even more successful and efficient project in the future.”

Learning from this event will feed into BAB’s mid-point review of the Community Kick-Start fund and be used to improve the project. We also hope it will be valuable for other Ageing Better areas, particularly those still in the early stages of delivering this project.

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