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

Birmingham Community Innovation Fund welcomes new proposals

Birmingham Community Innovation Fund is welcoming new proposals which can support the three priorities: supporting social participation and loneliness; carers; and preventing homelessness. The fund is delivered by Birmingham City Council in partnership with Crowdfunder to match funds raised by projects and campaigns through the “crowd”. For proposals which match the priorities and outcomes, Birmingham City Council will provide 50% match-funding up to the value of £10,000. They are looking to invest £200,000 in total over the next six months and full details are available via Since November, the fund has successfully supported five projects and campaigns, pledging £35,000 to match £46,000 raised through the “crowd” (total value of approximately £81,000). A list of projects that have been funded so far can be found via The funders are very willing to support creative ideas and activity, to understand the broad range of activity which can have a positive impact on adu......

Ageing Better Awards 2018

We are pleased to announce that the winners of Ageing Better Awards 2018 are:

  • Mohammed Gulfam from the Healthy Eating Club Award: Best Contribution to the Cause
    • For having gone above and beyond in trying to reach out to isolated people over 50 in their neighbourhood
    • For having exceeded expectations of their role and been an inspiration to others and exemplified the values of Ageing Better
  • Indoor Sports for All Generations Award: Best Ageing Better Activity
    • For having tried and tested an activity that people over 50 wouldn’t traditionally access

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Gulfam and everyone involved in his group and the Indoor Sports For All Generations members for making such fantastic contributions to isolated older people in Birmingham. 

More information to follow...


Spring Forward

"The sun came out and shone on us all on the 26th of March 2018"   On Monday 26th March 2018, Ageing Better in Birmingham held its annual Spring Forward event that is coordinated by Groundwork West Midlands and the Age of Experience group. The aim of Spring Forward is to celebrate the positive contribution that people over 50 make in communities across the city and to celebrate ageing. This year’s event was held at Austin Court and focussed on celebrating the involvement of people in the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, recognising the effort and commitment of people who have started a new activity to enable people in communities to come together and reduce their social isolation. Everyone who attended the event has been involved in the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme, by either leading or attending an activity that encourages people to get together and make new friends and c......

Birmingham charities win awards for excellence

  Two charities in Birmingham among eight winners of the 2018 GSK IMPACT Awards.  A prestigious national award for improving health and wellbeing in communities across the UK, has been awarded to two charities from Birmingham. Birmingham LGBT, who provides a wide range of health and wellbeing activities for LGBT people in Birmingham and the Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP) that offers support to children and adults in Birmingham affected by sexual violence and abuse are among eight charities that have won across the UK. Steph Keeble, from Birmingham LGBT (which is also our Ageing Better LGBT Hub), said: "We are delighted to have won this award, as it is fantastic recognition of the work we have done in supporting LGBT people in Birmingham. In particular, it is great that the judges have highlighted our work in supporting some of the most vulnerable people, in particular, as this is a key focus for......

Digital Skills Beginners Workshop

  Google's Digital Garage in Birmingham is offering new learning opportunities! Google's Digital Garage is arranging short workshops to offer digital skills coaching from beginner’s level to more advanced levels in relation to Spreadsheets, Staying Safe Online, Writing for Social Media and Digital Advertising. The sessions will enhance learners skills and knowledge in the respective areas, plus, will enable learners to grow in confidence when supporting citizens who are increasingly being expected to navigate technology in order to be able to better access information and services. ‘Staying safe online’ may be of particular interest in this regard because it includes, how to keep personal data safe and offers tips about shopping online as well as online banking etc. All sessions will be held at Woodcock Street in Birmingham and only those who have reserved their place will be given entry due to the strict room capacity. Please note that the sessions are g......

I’ve got my life back

HIV sufferer praises ‘life-changing’ support group in Birmingham An HIV sufferer who had “nothing to get up for” has praised the “life-changing” impact of a Birmingham support group which has helped him get his life back – as figures show the number of people with the condition in the city has increased by more than 30% in the last five years. Andy was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) four years ago and attends Positive West Midlands, a group partially funded by Ageing Better in Birmingham. The 51-year-old is married with two children and contracted the disease through sexual encounters with men. Speaking to raise awareness of the help available, he said: “Since joining the group, I now have something to get up for. It takes away the isolation. The group has opened doors for me and boosted my confidence. I found no support in my local area. Every minute of the 16 miles I ......

Doing It Better with Ageing Better

The Ageing Better LGBT Hub held a session of discussions in February – “Doing It Better With Ageing Better” –  to enable group organisers to learn from each other and find out more about how the Hub can offer support.  The group looked at a draft ‘Top Tips’ for groups and organisers, which is a work-in-progress and could be very helpful for future Ageing Better groups. They also considered how organisers can stay motivated and not wear themselves out. Maria Hughes, Network Enabler at the  Ageing Better LGBT Hub said:   "Running a group can be hard but it still should be fun!  "We had a lot to discuss and ran out of time, but we did manage to cover the practicalities of running a group, how we can reach out to isolated people, how to work with different age groups and the benefits of being part of Ageing Better."   The group also ......

I couldn’t have dreamt about what we achieved.

  Nina, who have shared her story on our blog over the last couple of weeks, speaks to us about being ‘on the edge of a nervous break-down’ and how Ageing Better in Birmingham helped her to overcome adversity. The 55-year-old mother of four lost her confidence while working as a quality controller. After leaving her job she became isolated, only leaving the house to attend hospital appointments for migraines which she had begun to suffer. Nina relied heavily on the support of her father and was devastated when he died after a short battle with cancer.  “I was on the verge of a nervous break-down. I was weak and only left the house to visit the GP. My father was a fantastic support. He died in 2011 and within three years I had also lost my mother. I didn’t know what to do without them.” In a bid to get Nina out ......

Nina's guest blog: St. Patrick's Day

This is the second blog post from our guest blogger Nina Mildenhall. To read her first entry click here: Nina's Story and to read her 2nd entry click here: Queen's 90th Birthday


One of my favourite Ageing Better events was when we organised a St. Patrick Day Party! We had such a lovely time and it was a great achievement for us all! We decide to go with a pub theme with non-alcoholic cocktails ("mocktails"), lots of tasty food and special cakes. And, of course, some fantastic Irish music which made it such a great celebration. We topped it off with a raffle and quiz and here below you can see photos from the event, and some of the quiz winners!


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Nominations open to the Ageing Better Awards 2018

Citizens are at the heart of Ageing Better in Birmingham. They are the driving force in arranging and leading new activities to reach out to isolated people over 50. So far, over 4,700 people in Birmingham have been involved in starting something amazing within their communities to help people over 50 lead more fulfilling lives. All of our volunteers have gone above and beyond in their communities and we would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved! We are inviting individuals that have been supported through Ageing Better in Birmingham activities to nominate their activity or a member of their group for an Ageing Better Award. We know that everybody involved in Ageing Better in Birmingham has started something special. The awards will recognise groups that have gone the extra mile in organising and supporting new activities. You can nominate a group member or......

Ageing Better in Birmingham tender opportunity – Carers Voice (Older Carers Local Action Plan)

Ageing Better in Birmingham is out to tender for the provision of Carers Voice; a Project within the Older Carers Local Action Plan. Further information on our Priority Area Local Action Plans can be found on our website at

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

The opportunity is now live and the deadline for Bidder's Response is Thursday 10th May, 12pm noon.

Ageing Better in Birmingham has received a £6 million investment from the Big Lottery Funds Fulfilling lives: Ageing Better national strategic programme. This is a 6-year project, which started in April 2015.

M·E·L Research to evaluate four projects within the Tyburn Local Action Plan

Tyburn Local Action Plan (LAP) Evaluation of Four Projects to tackle social isolation and loneliness amongst older residents in Tyburn. We are delighted to announce that M·E·L Research has been commissioned by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) to evaluate four projects within the Ageing Better in Birmingham Tyburn Local Action Plan over two years. Each project has different timescales but will involve a broadly common evaluation methodology involving a mixed methods approach. For all four projects the evaluation will explore the effectiveness of delivery, assess progress against key outcomes, and identify lessons learned. The overall aim of the Ageing Better in Birmingham programme is to facilitate change in the way older people are considered by and within communities to empower citizens to take part in and influence activities, in order to reduce isolation in later life. The programme works at neighbourhood level using a grassroots, assets-based approach to create a new m......

Nina's guest blog: The Queen's 90th Birthday

This is the second blog post from our guest blogger Nina Mildenhall. To read her first entry click here: Nina's Story  So now we had formed an Ageing Better Group with the help of Tracey Barrington and Phil Harris over at the Sanctuary. They helped us think about what we would need to do and who to contact. The Queen's 90th Birthday was coming up (this was 2016) and what better way to celebrate it by getting the Castle Vale community and surrounding areas to come together! We wanted to celebrate at Centre Park and with financial support from the Ageing Better Fund and with us doing a Car Boot Sale to bring in more funding, this project was months in the planning! We had to make sure that we promoted the event in the local newspaper, on the Castle Vale radio station, through leaflets - we never stopped! When the......

Together We Can! - A community-building project

Together We Can! is 3-year intergenerational, community-building project within the Firs &Bromford neighbourhood (east Birmingham), undertaken as a partnership between Worth Unlimited,Open Door Community Foundation, and Firs & Bromford Neighbours Together. Across the two ‘age bands’ (young people and adults), TWC! pursues three parallel ‘strands’ of work:  Street connecting - making connections with, and between, local people, and growing new forms of associational life from those connections; doing stuff together - facilitating places and groups which local people feel they belong and can contribute to; support and development - supporting local people to grow in the confidence, skills andconnections needed to be able to participate in and contribute to the life of their neighbourhood, and wider world. Through a range of focused activity, TWC! brings together youth work and adult-focused community work to maximise the opportunities for intergenerational (as well as cross-cultural) interaction and relationship-building. The overall aim is to contribute to “a flourishing community, with flourishing connections between flourishing people”. ......

Nina's story

Hello, My name is Nina Mildenall, I am 55 years young. I have lived on Castle Vale since I was 21, been married to my husband John for 34 years and have four beautiful grown up children. Jenny is a manger at Manchester United Football Club, Steven is a chef, Claire is a P.E. Teacher and Michael is carer. Throughout my life, I have always worked. In my last job - I was there for 16 years - I worked in the Quality Control department. But sadly my life changed when I was badly bullied at work. I was close to having a breakdown and became so ill I had to leave.I became isolated. Apart from trips to the doctors or hospital and once week where my father would made sure we went to lunch together, I was isolated. My father helped me so much, then bad news came and within......

Buddying Scheme for carers launching in Birmingham

A new project has started in Birmingham. TELEBUDDIES will be delivered by Disability Resource Centre, and is part of the Carers Local Action Plan. A key part of Ageing Better in Birmingham, Local Action Plans aim to improve the lives of older people who are carers, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or live in Tyburn or Sparkbrook.Telebuddies is a telephone buddying scheme for older carers, requiring the design, delivery and evaluation of an effective telephone ‘buddying’ scheme for older carers.   Telebuddies will launch two different models of telephone buddying, and assess how effective they are. The different models are aimed at increasing carers’ social contact, emotional resilience, as well as providing a system to identify early warning signs of isolation. Evaluation from the project will be used to make recommendations for future plans and identify a self-organising future that supports older carers to connect and offer mutual support beyon......

New project in Tyburn

A new project has started in Tyburn.   It's called Community Organisers and is part of the Tyburn Local Action Plan. As part of Ageing Better in Birmingham there are several Local Action Plans. They all have an aim to improve the lives of older people in either Tyburn, Sparkbrook, for older carers or older LGBT people. The Community Organisers project represents 1 of 5 projects within the Tyburn Local Action Plan.  The project is primarily aimed at encouraging communities to: Share their knowledge and experience of local services, activities and events Encourage others to become more involved in their neighbourhoods (active citizenship) Improve resilience for individuals, groups and communities within Tyburn One of the project’s key aims is to be sustainable beyond this funding by providing support, training and tools to help people become involved in community action, encouraging active citizenship, creating stronger and more resilient individuals and communities as well as r......

Ageing Better in Birmingham tender opportunity – Changing Practice in the Health and Social Care Sector (Part of the LGBT Community Local Action Plan)

Ageing Better in Birmingham is out to tender for the provision of the Changing Practice in the Health and Social Care Sector; a Project within the LGBT community Local Action Plan. Further information on our Priority Area Local Action Plans can be found on our website at

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 Thursday 12th April 2018, 12pm noon.

Ageing Better in Birmingham has received a £6 million investment from the Big Lottery Funds Fulfilling lives: Ageing Better national strategic programme. This is a 6-year project, which started in April 2015.

Awareness week to highlight isolation across Birmingham

People are being urged to speak to their neighbours as part of an awareness week to raise awareness of isolation in Birmingham and how it can be prevented. Ageing Together Week takes place across the city from Monday, January 22 to Sunday, January 28, and is being run by Ageing Better in Birmingham. By 2020, almost 57,000 people aged 65 plus will be living alone in the city, (37 per cent of the age group), and this rises to almost 81,000, almost 53 per cent of the age group, when those with a limiting long-term illness are included. Feeling alone and isolated is a negative emotional experience and can adversely affect both physical health and mental well-being and recent studies suggest it can contribute towards stress, lower self-esteem, disturbed sleep, cardiovascular disease, dementia and other mental health outcomes. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the problem and......

Birmingham GP surgery wins award for supporting isolated patients

A surgery in Birmingham that developed a support group for isolated people has won an award for its work. The Tower Hill Partnership Medical Practice in Perry Barr picked up the Patient Champion Award at the Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) General Practice Awards 2017. The surgery was recognised for identifying people on their books who had been bereaved in the last five years and were most likely to be at risk of loneliness and isolation. The Walsall Road Surgery’s Patient Participation Group is supported by Ageing Better in Birmingham, a National Lottery funded programme working to reduce isolation in the city. The money, from the Ageing Better Fund, allowed the practice to invite 250 people to a 50 Plus Group. They meet at the surgery every two weeks and can chat, play games and attendees are even able to have their ailments checked by a GP or......

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