Who We Are
BAB is a partnership of individuals and organisations working together to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol.
What was the project?
Friends Ageing Better (FAB) was a project aimed at older people who have previously attended a BAB event or activity and are looking for an opportunity to re-engage with their community. It is for older people who need further support to feel less lonely and isolated.
FAB also welcomed anyone who wanted to improve their wellbeing or to support an older friend, relative or neighbour. FAB is open to people of all ages and interests, although it focuses primarily in activities suitable and of interest to 50+.
What did the project do?
FAB hosted cafes across Bristol on a monthly basis for older people to attend. FAB volunteers attended a FAB Café near them regularly, creating a welcoming space for everyone who joins and will share information regarding new events and activities happening locally, drawing from the wealth of information that BAB has created citywide.
How to get in touch?
Email FAB@ageukbristol.org.uk or ring 0117 929 1537 and request to speak to the FAB team.
Why did BAB fund it?
As part of our Test and learn approach, Bristol Ageing Better often reviews the effectiveness and reach of our programme. During 2017, feedback from BAB participants identified that while over 10,000 people have participated in a BAB project, many were not always aware of what else was going on. We wanted to fund a partner to develop a network for our participants that kept them engaged with other people, but also informed them of other opportunities in their communities.
FAB worked with BAB partners and external partners to develop activities and offers for older people in Bristol. Direction for the project came from an active steering group of older people and feedback from its members. They built a membership of 1000+ members offering discounts to local businesses and cultural activities. Regular communication with members about local opportunities via social media, email and post to keep people connected and engaged with their community. The project also set up various activities such as regular social meetings using café spaces, as well as discos, and Tai Chi providing training for volunteers to set up their own classes.
This project was extended in light of Covid-19 to continue to connect with network members during a time of increased isolation. They worked closely with the Support Hub and BOPF to reach out to older people who weren’t online to keep them informed of support available. FAB worked with Support Hub partners to keep people connected during the pandemic through social activities via phone, online and post.
FAB are now looking for funding to continue developing the project using learning from BAB and needs emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.
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