Well we can start by looking at what we can do together! That is exactly what citizens of Birmingham have done. By starting voluntary groups (referred to as Ageing Better Networks) and organising activities for isolated older adults, 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 Networks 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, a trip somewhere, a workshop, an exercise class – anything older people want or need!
So far, the Ageing Better Fund has agreed to cover cost for the following activities, organised by Ageing Better Networks to reach out to isolated older people:
A community celebration of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. The event included food, performances and entertainment, karaoke, workshops, a children’s corner and games for all ages!
Ten weeks of dance workshops for over 50s, including salsa, tango and swing dancing
Intergenerational “Smart” Workshops, teaching over 50s to use new technology such as apps on smart phones and tablets (GPS Maps, West Midlands App and chat apps to keep in touch with friends and family).
A summer barbeque and entertainments at Martineau Gardens
Crazy golf for over 50s, finishing with a picnic in Cannon Hill Park
An autumn festival at a local community centre
Karaoke and a restaurant meal
Day trips to heritage homes & gardens, Wales and the sea-side, Lichfield, and Weston Super Mare
Trips to the theatre, city library, garden centres and super markets.
The Network Starter Pack sets out key guidance and basic resources to start your own network. This is how YOU can make a difference. Start your network today! Apply to the Ageing Better Fund tomorrow!