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Stephen Raybould – Programme Director (Ageing Better) 

I am the Programme Director for Ageing Better in Birmingham. My goal is to create and maintain focus, enthusiasm and momentum to tackle the issue of isolation in those over 50. I am responsible, on behalf of Ageing Better Core Strategic Partnership, for delivering thechange brought about by Ageing Better in Birmingham.

I pull together the various work streams involved and manage their inter-dependencies including oversight of any risks and issues that arise. I also take the lead in integrating learning back into the programme.

I also am responsible for the overall integrity and coherence of the programme. I do this by developing and maintaining the programme environment to support each individual project within it. This is largely achieved by working through the programme management office, and Ageing Better’s excellent team.

Nita Upadhyay

Nita Upadhyay – Network Enabler (Sparkbrook) 

I’m the Network Enabler for the Sparkbrook Hub. Narthex Sparkhill leads on the delivery in partnership with the East Birmingham Collective. My role involves supporting people in Sparkbrook, and surrounding areas covering B10, B11, and B12 to apply for funds of up to 2k to set up new activities to involve local older people and make them less isolated. If over 50s contact the Hub I also signpost them to Ageing Better activities running in the area. I enjoy working with older people and I’m lucky to work with such diverse communities in the area.

Stephen Campbell

Stephen Campbell – Data and Information Administrator (Sparkbrook) 

I am the Data and Information Administrator with the Sparkbrook Hub of Ageing Better in Birmingham. My principal role is to gather and record data from the groups that have been set up using Ageing Better funding. I have responsibility for updating various databases with the information/data from the groups. I also help with local marketing for the project and offer a point of contact and a friendly face for the groups.

Laura Grigg

Laura Grigg – Network Enabler (Tyburn) 

Hi I’m Laura the Network Enabler within the Tyburn area includes Castle Vale, Pype Hayes, Birches Green, Erdington Hall and the Bromford Estate. Within my role I support local community groups and individuals in improving interaction and community connections to reduce loneliness and isolation within the locality with a particular focus on 50+ age group. Where necessary I provide help to make applications to the Ageing Better Fund which aids groups financially to become established and sustainable. The overall aim of the project is to leave a legacy which will empower the ageing generation to be more resilient in the future. Through greater community connections and collaboration I believe we can improve the health and wellbeing of our ageing city.

Hanna Iacco

Hanna Iacco – Network Enabler (City Wide) 

My role as Network Enabler for the City wide Hub is to work very closely with the project coordinator to identify groups or individuals across the city of Birmingham that would benefit from making an application to the Ageing Better Fund. I then provide a bespoke service assisting in both the formation of those groups and the application process, encouraging network leads to take full responsibility for the group and to ensure that a detailed consultation has been carried out on behalf of their network. My role is essentially to support, assist and facilitate groups as best as I can, inspiring self autonomy and leadership in the very core of its setup to ensure that self-sustainability, as well as tackled isolation, is maintained in the long run, as is in line with the Ageing Better principles.

Kate Gomez1

Kate Gomez – Project Coordinator (City Wide) 

I’m the Project Co-ordinator for the Citywide Hub which is run by a partnership between Age Concern Birmingham and Age UK Birmingham. My role involves providing support and advice to people who have an idea to tackle social isolation in older people and would like to start and run an Ageing Better group. I also work with our existing Ageing Better groups to help them continue to thrive and develop. I work in all areas of Birmingham and believe that by creating stronger connections within our communities and across the city as a whole, we can help older people to become less isolated and more involved.

Maria Hughes

Maria Hughes – Network Enabler (LGBT) 

Hi, I’m Maria, the Network Enabler for the LGBT Hub, based at Birmingham LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre. Many people who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) become isolated by not being able to be open about their sexuality and gender identity. This may prevent them from getting involved in groups and activities where they’re not sure how they will be treated if they ‘come out’ to other people. I offer practical support, and access to the Ageing Better Fund, to new and existing LGBT groups, helping them to reach out to other members of the LGBT communities who have become isolated. Together, we hope to raise the profile of LGBT communities in Birmingham and its neighbours, overcoming prejudice and increasing the connections between LGBT and non-LGBT people of all age groups and walks of life.

Kaldip Grewal

Kaldip Grewal – Lead Network Enabler (Carers) 

My name is Kaldip Grewal and I took up role of Lead Network Enabler (Carers Hub) in February 2018. I support carers and people over 50 to access the Ageing Better Fund, by getting together with others to set up groups and activities, to reduce isolation and loneliness and foster a sense of wellbeing and an improved quality of life within Birmingham.


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Phil Done – Relationship and Contract Manager (Finance and Evaluation)

I am responsible for managing all of the Hub and Local Action Plan Contracts for our geographic area of Tyburn and thematic group of older carers, as well as the programmes Local Evaluation contract. Working as a relationship manager I am tasked with working with all of the contract holders within a specific area ensuring they are all working together to achieve both the wider Ageing Better in Birmingham outcomes as well as their own contracted outcomes.

Furthermore, I am the lead for the programme’s national evaluation; ensuring we comply with the evaluation and report findings and trends to various audiences from contract holders to presenting at wider third sector events. I am also responsible for ensuring that the programme is on target for expenditure against the forecasted budget.

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Louise Rands – Relationship and Contract Manager (Coproduction and Internal Collaboration)

My role is to manage the programmes’ City-wide and LGBT Community contractual worksteams to ensure effective delivery against our overall aims and outcomes, focussing on our Hub and Local Action Plan activity. Working as a relationship manager, I am tasked with working with all of the contract holders within a specific area ensuring they are all working together to achieve both the wider Ageing Better in Birmingham outcomes as well as their own contracted outcomes. I am responsible for supporting the involvement of the Age of Experience group to engage in programme level opportunities, ensuring that they are at the heart of decision making and leading the Every Step of the Way programme.

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Elina Svantesson – Ageing Better Coordinator

I am responsible for the Ageing Better Fund, lead on Marketing and Communications for the programme and supporting the programme's work around making Birmingham an Age Friendly City. I work closely with the Ageing Better Fund Panel to ensure the fund meets the aims of the programme and I support the Ageing Better Hubs in helping applicants apply to the fund. I ensure that our marketing activities are on track and reflect the high quality of work that is required, and liaise with organisations and individuals who would like to support the programme.

Jacob Standbridge

Jacob Standbridge – Ageing Better Administration Officer

My role is largely focused on the Ageing Better Fund, for which I carry out day-to-day tasks such as processing invoices, making payments, taking minutes in meetings , checking applications to the Fund and engaging with and responding to queries from the community groups that we have funded. I also do other ad hoc jobs for the team where required and  fill the crucial role of being the team’s Robot Wars expert. I’m very lucky to be involved in a job that helps improve people’s lives – in my view there is no better kind of work.

Catherine Metcalfe

Catherine Metcalfe – Ageing Better Administration Officer

As Administration Officer for Ageing Better in Birmingham, it is my responsibility to ensure that the programme’s administrative processes run smoothly. My duties include planning and minuting meetings with our Core Partnership, subgroups and delivery partners, and answering general queries about the programme. I also compile stats for reporting purposes, and with a background in written translation and proofreading, I edit copy for our newsletters and blog posts, and contribute articles too.