Last year, our Ageing Better Fund supported Nechells POD to organise activities to get more isolated older people involved in their local community. Noran Flynn, who organise these activities wrote the below feedback and sent us photos from the gorup. We've also included a few quotes from participants who were part of the activities paid for by the Ageing Better Fund.
"Ageing Better Makes ADifference" by Noran Flynn, Charity Development Director, Nechells POD.
Nechells POD is a community project based in the heart of Nechells, one of the most deprived wards in Birmingham. We support local residents from 0-86 years of age and our aim is to empower them to be beacons of hope in the local community. We have a very active elders group, FiNs (Friends in Nechells) and we are always looking at ways to involve more people particularly the isolated and vulnerable. We were thrilled to receive ageing better funding as it meant we could target isolated elders to join our activities. We consulted with our existing elders to determine what sort of trips and activities would encourage new members to join our group and we were able to draw up a list of five different trips which would appeal to a wide range of elders. We also trained an additional mini bus driver to make it easier to use our two minibuses to transport us to the different places.
Our first two trips were intergenerational outings to Stourport on Severn and Weston Super Mare which were enjoyed by all participants. We challenged existing POD elders to bring along new people who lived by them but did not get out much. As a result we had new participants join the trips which proved to be very successful. The feedback was that people had enjoyed the day out, making the most of shopping, walking by the river and the sea and watching the families playing games in the park or on the beach. Both days were a great success.
Our next trip was to Birmingham Hippodrome to see Blood Brothers. The majority of the twenty participants had never been to Birmingham Hippodrome nor seen a musical so this was quite an adventure. One person told us she would never have chosen to go to see a musical but it was a fantastic production and she had thoroughly enjoyed it. Other people said how priviledged they felt to have been able to participate and have such an entertaining afternoon rather than sitting alone at home. In November 25 residents visited Wyevale Garden Centre in Shenstone. We were treated to refreshments on arrival and then the opportunity to explore a winter wonderland of Christmas decorations, plants and gifts. Everyone was amazed at what was available and how quickly the time flew by as we had such a good time. Again we were able to take new people who had not previously joined a POD outing and feedback was very positive.
On 1 December 20 FiNs (Friends in Nechells) visited the National War Memorial Arboretum at Alerwas. Everyone was looking forward to this outing. The day was cold, crisp and sunny. We had a fabulous day, starting with a trip to the Chapel and a short walk round the memorials near to the visitor centre. We then had the most delicious Christmas lunch in our own private room. Everyone said how delicious the meal was particularly the Christmas puddings that were made by the very talented chef, whole cherries and nuts made them extra special. The ladies who served us made us very welcome and were very kind and hospitable. We then took a tour round the whole Arboretum on a miniature train. This was a very moving and thought provoking experience. The whole day was a huge success and we are grateful to the support of Ageing Better for making this trip possible.
As a result of the support from Ageing Better in Birmingham we have been able to offer a wide range of trips which have attracted new participants and encouraged isolated elders to join in our other activities such as arm chair fitness, tending the raised beds, well being sessions and Place of Welcome. Ageing Better funding has made a real difference to the lives of elderly residents living in Nechells. Noran Flynn- Charity Development Director
John: This is my first trip out since my bereavement and it really gave me something to look forward to. I enjoyed meeting new people and relaxing in the park.
Bridget: Thanks for a lovely day out, I really enjoyed myself.
Vanetta: I had a great day siting watching the children play and shopping with my friends
Peggy: I really enjoyed being out of my house in the fresh air pottering around Stourport
Mary: I wouldn’t have chosen to go to a musical but I thought it was stunning and enjoyed every minute
Sandra: I had a fabulous time at the seaside, it was so much fun being with a group of people of all different ages. It took me back to when my family were young. It was certainly a day to remember
Eveline: We had a lovely trip to Stourport, we enjoyed walking round the shops and along the river. We had a really good time