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

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: https://blgbt.org/my-50-years-of-gay-but-most-of-it-was-spent-deep-in-the-closet/ 

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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ageing-well-in-birmingham-tickets-44834693776

 

 

Hearing Birmingham: A Debate on the City's Future

The Ageing Better community is invited to attend Hearing Birmingham: A Debate on the City's Future   On the 24th May, The Hearings, a not-for-profit organisation co-founded by the founders of Intelligence Squared, The Week and openDemocracy are organising an event which will explore the city's identity, the issues it faces, and how local people can be involved more in shaping the city's future, all as told by Birmingham people.  The event aims to bring an audience together around local issues that affect them, and will hear proposals from people doing things locally to improve the collective life of the city. Frank Lawton, Director of The Hearings said of the event "Too often older communities aren’t included in civic discussion and conversations about the future of the city. We want to help remedy that. This is an exciting, inclusive civic event in Birmingham and we want various people to attend. This is a fantastic opportunity to for older p......

Using digital tools when travelling by bus

National Express West Midlands is offering FREE workshops around using their digital tools when travelling by bus.   The bus company, one of the largest bus operators in the UK, will support you in becoming a ‘tech savvy’ senior or an overall ‘bus genius’, to help make traveling by bus as easy as possible. The hour-long workshops are offered free of charge for everybody and anybody wanting to refresh their journey planning skills and would like to discover how to use their website and mobile apps.   When is it?  There will be 2 workshops Friday 1st June 2018 Friday 15th June 2018 How long is it?  14:30pm - 15:30 pm (1 hour) What will I learn? Mticket app• How to download the app• How to purchase tickets• How to use a mobile ticket Bus App• How to find out about stops and times• How to plan a journey • How to save your favour......

Coming together over Domino and Crafts

A Group for 60+’s that was Reborn, thanks to Ageing Better In Birmingham funding The Pathfinders Domino and Craft club runs every Friday lunchtime at the Birmingham Community Association in Small Heath – members are treated to a tasty lunch and then they can relax and play dominos, “make and create” using various craft activities or just simply get together and chat. Looking back, a similar group at the centre was set up about 4 years ago but unfortunately had to close after 18 months. Group organisers Jacqui Daniels and Arlene Bourne then decided to apply to the Ageing Better Fund so that the group could get going again, and thanks to their efforts and with funding for craft supplies, games and provisions from Ageing Better, the group was reborn in February this year. There are people of all nationalities at the group, including British and Asian, plus a number of ladies ......

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 https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/crowdfund-birmingham. 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 https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/birmingham-community. 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

Citizens rewarded for their “life-changing” work Kind-hearted neighbours who have “changed the lives” of the lonely and isolated across Birmingham have been rewarded for the work they are doing to boost the physical and mental health of those most in need. Citizens at the heart of our programme, have been recognised as the driving force behind the “life-changing” scheme under our Ageing Better Awards. So far more than 4,700 people aged over 50 have been helped to lead more fulfilling lives. Mohammed Gulfam, aged 65 from Small Heath, was awarded the Best Contribution to the Cause for helping to improve the quality of life for a group of mainly South Asian men over 50 after setting up the Healthy Eating Club in Small Heath, Sparkbrook. People attend the club at the Asian Elderly Welfare Association and share in the planning and preparation of meals, before they eat together. Mohammed works hard to prom......

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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