Bring your community together & help those over 50 to overcome isolation

Circus skills in Edgbaston

DEMCAF– Helping carers and the Dementia sufferers they care for, to be less isolated and more involved with the local community Demcaf are an Ageing Better in Birmingham group who meet on the first Tuesday of every month at St Georges church, Edgbaston to provide a support network, activities and socialising to people over 50 with Dementia, and their Carers. What struck us about this group was that it was not just carers and the cared-for who came along, but also a large number of volunteers - people in the community and members of the church who are interested in the wellbeing of others and who want to lend a hand and make a difference to the lives of people in this very practical way. We spoke with Jenny Astley, aged 78 from Selly Oak, Birmingham. For the past 12 months, Jenny has been coming to Demcaf with her husband David, w......

New project aimed at making Tyburn an 'age-friendly' neighbourhood

Sustrans is delivering Age Friendly Tyburn, a project aimed at increasing an ‘age-friendly’ neighbourhood and reducing social isolation by creating a positive long-term improvement on the physical environment of the Tyburn Ward. This project is funded by BVSC and is part of the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme. It will run until June 2020.   What is the project about? Sustrans will be working to support people in Tyburn to identify aspects of the urban environment that make travel and connectivity to the community difficult, such as crossing points, links between neighbourhoods and access to green spaces. An initial audit of the area will lead to developing and trialling ideas that positively enhance their neighbourhood environment to make it Age-Friendly and make access for over 50s easier. The trials will initially be low cost and short term – but with the view to using them as evidence to establish lasting positive chang......

I would have been just sitting at home watching TV if I hadn’t come to this group

  We all love to see fresh flowers, tastefully displayed and showing off nature in all its loveliness and colour, but to arrange them so that they look their best takes a little practice.Thanks to support from the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, Samreena Begum, with the help of Nita Upadhyay at the Sparkbrook Ageing Better Hub was able to set up a flower arranging class at the Tyseley Community Centre and this has proved very popular with ladies local to the area. Samreena said: “This has been 15 weeks of utter bliss and has definitely helped to reduce isolation in the local community, these ladies have come along every week, they have learnt lots of new skills, made new friends and have really enjoyed themselves." "From the bottom of our hearts, we all want to say THANK YOU very much to Ageing Better”  We also chatted with Patricia, a lady who cam......

Zumba, salsa, dominos and sewing in Acocks Green

Meeting each Tuesday at the Church of God of Prophecy in Acocks Green, people get moving with regular Zumba classes, sewing, dominos and trips to the seaside. We caught up with people who attend the group for various activities. Enid and Delbert, a lovely couple who have been married 60 years. Originally from Jamaica, they moved to England in the 50’s. After working for many years, the two retired and relocated back to Jamaica, but then, a year or so ago, decided to return to the UK so that they could spend more time with their four daughters, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As we reminisced about the times when wages were £4 a week and a bus fare only a couple of pence, they were a little reluctant to say whether they prefer Jamaica or England, but one thing is clear, they are delighted to be part of a caring and......

Ageing Better in Birmingham Request for Quotation – Good Neighbour Campaign (Tyburn Local Action Plan)

Ageing Better in Birmingham is requesting quotations for the provision of Good Neighbour Campaign; a Project within the Tyburn Local Action Plan. Further information on our Priority Area Local Action Plans can be found on our website at https://www.ageingbetterinbirmingham.co.uk/latest-news/update-priority-area-local-action-plans

More information in regards to this opportunity can be found on our e-Tendering portal In-Tend (click here), and submissions will be managed through this system.

The opportunity is now live and the deadline for Bidder's Response is Friday 26th October 2018. 12pm noon.

Ageing Better in Birmingham opportunity – quotes requested to deliver an Independent Evaluation of ‘Carers Voice’ (Part of the Older Carers Local Action Plan)

Ageing Better in Birmingham is requesting quotations for the provision of an Independent Evaluation of Carers Voice, a project within the Older Carers Local Action Plan. The deadline for the submission of quotations is Wednesday 5th September at 5pm.

Further information regarding this opportunity can be found within the Brief for the evaluation which can be accessed here.

The Older Carers Local Action plan can be accessed here for further background information.

Do you have what it takes to make your neighbourhood a better place to grow older in?

Do you have what it takes to make your neighbourhood a better place to grow older in?
The answer is YES. Everyone can reduce isolation and make communities better places to live and grow older: All you need is a bit of time! Isolation and loneliness is on the government’s agenda. Since her recent appointment as loneliness minister, Tracey Crouch has revealed that she was approached by lawmakers from Sweden and Canada, who are looking to the UK as an example on how to tackle isolation. This is clearly something that isn’t just happening in Britain but all over the world. Appointing Crouch is a great and welcome first step but communities won’t change unless everyone does their own bit. We’re talking small acts of kindness, things that every single person can do to help make their neighbourhood a better place to live in. We’re talking about breaking down boundaries between young and old, different communities, backgrounds, experiences and living arrangements. Neighbours help Isolated and lonely seniorsLoneliness and isolat......

Council conducting survey to improve neighbourhoods

Birmingham Council wants your views!   Birmingham City Council would like to hear your opinion on how local residents, community organisations and public services can work better together in your local area, to improve your services and your neighbourhood. This survey is about the consultation paper called “Working together in Birmingham’s Neighbourhoods” which you can find, as well as a summary leaflet, at the bottom of this page. Citizens are encouraged to read the paper (which you find, as well as a summary leaflet, at the bottom of this page) before answering the questions which range from "What do you think of our overall approach to working with neighbourhoods?" to Local Devolution deals.  Following this consultation, the council will publish a final policy statement this autumn, based on the feedback theyreceive. They want to work with residents over the long term to improve Birmingham neighbourhoods and so it won't be the end o......

New green paper for Birmingham on community cohesion - read it in summary and in full here

New green paper for Birmingham on community cohesion - read it in summary and in full here

 

com cohesion green paper pic

 

 

 

The Birmingham Community Cohesion Strategy Green Paper outlines a Birmingham in which individuals and groups can live with trust in their neighbourhoods, those from different backgrounds and in local institutions. It vision for a more integrated Birmingham.

You can find both the full and sumarised versions on our 'Resources' page at the ink below:

https://www.ageingbetterinbirmingham.co.uk/resources

Happy reading!

Project Coordinator - Ageing Better Connect Sparkbrook

We're recruiting!

This is an inspring time for Ageing Better in Birmingham! We're half way through the programme and we're starting to see citizens doing things in their local community that has a positive effect in reducing isolation for participants on the programme.

We currently have an exciting vacancy available. Please read through the job advert below for more information:

Project Co-ordinator - Fulltime (PDF)

And if you're looking for more opportunites working in the Voluntary Sector in Birmingham, check out BVSC's job board here: https://www.bvsc.org/third-sector-jobs

Birmingham hoping to become leading location for LGBT people to grow older

Birmingham LGBT aims to make Birmingham the leading location for LGBT people to grow older   Birmingham LGBT is launching Ageing with Pride, a year-long campaign aimed at promoting the lives and lived experiences of older LGBT people across the city, focusing on highlighting the positive contributions those over the age of 50 and who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender have made to the region both today and historically. The new campaign, funded by the Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme, also aims to tackle ageism, something many older LGBT people experience from not only wider society, but commonly from within their own community too. “There’s an emphasis on youth as being central to participation in LGBT communities” Birmingham LGBT research, 2016. Research by Stonewall highlighted that social isolation is a serious issue for older LGBT people, with older LGBT people significantly more likely to be living alone, 41% compa......

Barmy knitters becoming close-knit friends

You don’t have to be Barmy to join this Ageing Better Knitters group – but it helps!   One of the Ageing Better groups that we visited recently is called Barmy Knitters, a gathering of 7 or so ladies who sit together, chat, drink tea and knit or crochet some lovely colourful items destined for donation to charities. The ladies meet at Sycamore house, a supported living centre in Erdington where some of the participants also live, which is great as it means that they don’t have to travel far, just a short walk to the shared lounge on the ground floor of the complex. Barmy Knitters is run by Sharon, who was helped to set up the group by Eileen, leader of another band of knitters at Needles and Pins which runs at the Elim Church in Kingstanding. (pictured below with her own creation “the Green Man – spirit of Gardeners”). The range and d......

LGBT Survey about attitudes and awareness

Are you part of the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community in Birmingham? We want to hear from you! ABIC Ltd, an evaluation company based in Leamington Spa is undertaking an evaluation of the Ageing with Pride initiative, which is part of our programme. Ageing with Pride is a project that seeks to raise awareness of the LGBT community to reduce the risks of social isolation in later life. As part of its work, between now and the end of July, ABIC is conducting a survey amongst the LGBT community in Birmingham about attitudes and awareness to growing older and the challenges faced. The information will be collated and analysed and used to inform activity in Birmingham designed to increase awareness of the LGBT community about ageing. You are invited to complete the short online questionnaire which can be found via the following link. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/AgeingWithPride  Please share this information as widely as you can to......

We're recruiting!

This is an inspring time for Ageing Better in Birmingham! We're half way through the programme and we're starting to see citizens doing things in their local community that has an affect in reducing isolation for participants on the programme.

 

We currently have three exciting vacancies available. 

Please read through the job adverts below for more information:

 

And if you're looking for more opportunites working in the Voluntary Sector in Birmingham, check out BVSC's job board here: https://www.bvsc.org/third-sector-jobs

Ageing Better in Birmingham Opportunity – Quotes requested to deliver the independent evaluation of Age Friendly Tyburn (Part of the Tyburn Local Action Plan)

Ageing Better in Birmingham is requesting quotations for the provision of an independent evaluation of Age Friendly Tyburn, a project within the Tyburn Local Action Plan. The deadline for the submission of quotations has been extended to Wednesday  27th June at 5pm.

More information in regards to this opportunity can be found within the Brief for the delivery of the evaluation, which can be accessed here

New ways of volunteering: asset based community participation

The broad definition of volunteering, given by the NCVO, includes any unpaid activity which benefits the society or other people. This could be formal activity, undertaken through a service provider or informal activity within the community. Typically, formal volunteering involves a recruitment process similar to paid roles, properly delineated shift hours and the clear differentiation between volunteers and participants. A 2010 working paper, published by the Institute for Volunteering Research, found that after working without pay, and spending time on activities which would benefit a cause other than the individual, there was a third, commonly used definition. This conception emphasises the mutually beneficial aspects of volunteering. From improvement of skills to the positive feeling gained when giving back to the community, there are clearly a range of more abstract motivations which appeal to the volunteer. However, the perception of volunteering as defined by (lack of) payment continues. The same working paper......

Older people should never feel isolated for who they love or who they are

Encouraging Diversity, Building Community - in a Care Home and Beyond…   “In this day and age, when people are more open and able to speak freely about their sexuality, some of the older generation are still a little bit more reserved with it. It’s important that once they’ve come out and been themselves … that 20 years later they don’t feel like they can’t be themselves, and aren’t discriminated against.” -Carl Austin-Behan, Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor   Moving to a care home in later life is like moving to any other community. There are people you haven’t met before, who come from different parts of society and backgrounds to yourself, a new and different culture to adapt to, and new ways of doing things which are perhaps not quite what you have been used to before. For a member of the LGBT community, making such a move can be additionally chall......

Black Country Workshop tackling loneliness by involving all parts of our community

If you are from the black country, we urge you to sign up to this important Cabinet Office Policy Lab Workshop   On Friday the 15th June the Office for Civil Society is organising a workshop with speakers from organisations such as the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission and the Cabinet Office. During the workshop, attendants are invited to examine how Social Value can be used in tackling loneliness from individuals and communities through to businesses, charities and government. This important workshop will examine how a Social Value approach can contribute to creating a social economy and economic growth that also creates wellbeing and a society for all.  The event has some fantastic speakers, including the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Office for Civil Society and the Cabinet Office. If you are from the black country, we urge you to sign up today! Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cabinet-office-policy-lab-workshop-tickets-46359393193 The Office for Civil Society......

Making Space for Carers awarded to Forward Carers Consortium

New Birmingham project seeks to increase social connections between older carers and the wider community We are pleased to announce that Making Space for Carers has been awarded to Forward Carers Consortium. Making Space for Carers is a 2-year project that seeks to increase social connections between older carers and with the wider community by identifying suitable spaces in the community, to connect older carers and former older carers. This project hopes to enable older carers and former older carers to find purpose and meaning by sharing their experiences with others thereby mutually reducing social isolation and increasing mutual support. The project will establish supportive peer-led forums for older carers and former older carers in physical spaces hosted at health centres or other appropriate community venues. Each space will be led and organised by a central volunteer, who is supported and trained by a development coordinator. We are pleased to announce......

Quality of wellbeing in the UK on the rise

National statistics on wellbeing 2017 The Office for National Statistics recently published its 2017 report which reveals the positive news that the general quality of wellbeing in the UK is rising. This is reflected in the findings that ‘average ratings of happiness and feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile have slightly increased’. Feelings of life satisfaction; that things in life are worthwhile and happiness are all very high, while anxiety is very low. Interestingly, mental health wellbeing was rated only average. Regarding relationships, 5.4% of people reported feelings of loneliness which shows no improvement. Furthermore, fewer people feel as though they have someone to rely on, in serious circumstances. Thankfully, satisfaction with leisure time has increased, as have feelings of belonging to one’s neighbourhood. In general, these findings show that as a nation, we are getting better at feeling better. However, we still have further to go. Fighting lonel......