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

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:

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:

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.  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:

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: 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......

Over 135 activities for over 50s in June!

Are you over 50 and isolated? Do you know of someone who could benefit from meeting new people and making friends?   Here at Ageing Better in Birmingham we support people who are over 50, based somewhere in the city and who would like to get to know people in their local neighbourhood.   We love neighbours!   Together, we believe we can look out for people around us, to make citizens more connected, and ultimately, to Make Birmingham A Better Place To Grow Older. We also believe that to make a difference to people's lives, whether it's your own or an older neighbous, it doesn't take much. It coule be that you speak with your neighbour and check whether they need help with changing a light bulb, taknig the bins out or sperhaps help with shopping. Maybe you can have share a cuppa in the garden or during a rainy spell?......

How can we lend a hand to isolated people over 50 in Birmingham?

Well we can start by looking at what we can do together! That is exactly what citizens of Birmingham have done. By starting new or expanding on existing community groups, people in Birmingham are organising activities for isolated older people.  A movement is underway which we hope will continue to grow and spread across the city!Citizens of all ages, men and women from all backgrounds and cultures are encouraged to get together and utilise existing community assets such as local centres, cafés, and businesses, places of worship, existing local knowledge and leaders in the community. Ageing Better Groups are intergenerational and self-organising groups made up of community volunteers. It could be that you want to organise a street party, a weekly lunch club, workshops, an exercise class – anything older people want or need but currently don’t have access to in theit local neighbourhood! So far this year, the Ageing Better Fund......

Ageing with Pride

Ageing with Pride awarded to Birmingham LGBT   The project, one of several within the LGBT Community Local Action Plan, is co-designed with older LGBT people. It is an intensive campaign through effective marketing and communication approaches using community development and active citizenship. Ageing with Pride will be an integrated city-wide campaign that combines community development techniques, marketing and communications, and active citizenship. Its aims are to: Celebrate older LGBT peoples’ lives Present positive images of LGBT ageing Raise awareness and understanding of the causes of social isolation amongst older LGBT people and means of preventing this Address ageism in the LGBT community Challenge homophobia and stereotypes that can cause social isolation in older age. Help older LGBT people prepare for ageing to increase confidence to create connections across all communities to avoid isolation Increase visibility of the older LGBT community Promote positive messages about all members of the LGBT community a......

50 years of being gay - most of it spent in the closet

Born 1954, Michael shares his experiences of being gay and staying in the closet for much of his life. In this great blog post, we get to know a man who felt he had to confine to the norms of society, which at the time he grew up was not accepting sexuality outside the heterosexual spectrum.
Speaking of finally finding a social group local to him, Michael writes that “it was an immense relief to find other people who had gone through the same problems that I had, and it helped me realise who I really am.”

A really great read! Full story here: 

Connect Sparkbrook: Addressing Older People’s Social Isolation awarded to The Muath Trust

Exciting new project in Sparkbrook Connect Sparkbrook: Addressing Older People’s Social Isolation is a two-year, ward-wide project, capable of reaching all parts of the Sparkbrook Ward and all its communities. The project will have two work streams: Connecting Communities with a focus on place, toa. Improve local community infrastructure;b. Increase reach and improve accessibility of community-based provision;c. Address transport and access to transport issues, and d. Other place-based improvements to address social isolation amongst older residents. Promoting Active Citizenship, with a focus on people to.a. Support, encourage and enable active citizenship;b. Raise levels of engagement, involvement and neighbourliness, and c. Other people-based solutions to address social isolation amongst older residents. We are pleased to announce that the contract to deliver this project has been awarded to The Muath Trust as the lead organisation, in partnership with Ashiana Community Project, Narthex Sparkhill and the Springfield project and will be delivered over a 2......

Yoga, Pampering and “Trips Out” at Hamstead Hall Carers

Caring for a loved one, particularly one who is suffering from dementia, can be lonely and isolating, so it’s good to be able meet with others who are in the same position, talk about shared experiences and offer support and guidance to one another. Located at the border of Sandwell and Birmingham, the Hamstead Hall Carers group has offered support for carers since 2003. Originally set up by the Dementia Information and Support Team, part of Crossroads Sandwell, the group was held monthly to start with and now runs every week. Through a recent move to the Clem Dench Scouting Hut, on Hamstead Hall Rd in Handsworth, a bright, clean venue close to local bus routes, the group now benefits from good catering facilities and plenty of space for activities of all sorts. Leading this large group with over 50 me members are Asha and Tirath (pictured below) who make su......

Building an Ageing Better community in Glebe Farm

A few years ago, there used to be a community centre in the Glebe Farm area of Birmingham, a place where people of all ages could go and join in with community activities, toddler clubs, ESOL classes, games etc. But then, like so many other public meeting places, thanks to council spending cuts, the centre was closed, leaving a big gap in the area for people who wanted to enjoy fellowship, shared activities and support each other. Then, along came local activist and campaigner Paul Clayton, with a personal mission to bring life back into the community, fight council cuts and look for new ways of providing community facilities to help prevent social Isolation and loneliness among older people.  “I was delighted when I heard about the Ageing Better fund and was grateful to receive much needed funding to start a new community group for the older residents of Glebe Farm, s......

Ageing Well in Birmingham

Ageing Well in Birmingham


Birmingham City Council in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) invite you to an engagement event about the development of a new Birmingham Ageing Well Strategy.

This Ageing Well event has two main aims, and they are:

  • To provide citizens with the opportunity to hear about the work currently taking place in relation to adult social care and health;
  • To provide citizens with the opportunity to feedback experiences as well as understanding your views in relation to adult social care and health services.

A light lunch and refreshments will be provided and although the event commences at 10.15am you are welcome to join at any time during the event. Please note that this event is targeted at adults aged 55 years or over and their friends, family and carers.


To sign up, visit