Supporting the older generation

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


"The most terrible poverty is loneliness & the feeling of being unloved" Sadly, Mother Theresa's words are recognised by many older people, isolated by bereavement, disability, and low incomes.17% of older people say they are in contact with family, friends & neighbours less than once a week, 11% less than once a month (Victor 2003). And loneliness is bad for you; it is a comparable risk factor for early death to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Age UK Barnet are looking for £5,000 to buy 2 large screen TVs and install hearing aid loops in their day centres. This will enable to them to start 2 film clubs, something their clients are keen on. They have the space, staff, volunteers, transport and public video screening licence in place. The project can start the minute the televisions are delivered. They anticipate the film clubs having 40-50 members, although, as this is a new project for them it is hard to say exactly how popular it will be.

Clients of Age UK Barnet will be able to choose the films they watch, chat about what they've seen and discuss what to view next. Help with transport, together with the presence of staff and volunteers, means the club will be accessible to the most disabled & vulnerable people in the area, including those with mobility problems & early dementia.

The project design takes into the characteristics of a successful project to tackle loneliness (Cattan 2005) which are - start with individual, their interests and experience; involve each person in the activity; and there is more robust evidence for the usefulness of group activities.

The hearing aid loops will be very useful for other activities in the centre, including talks on Falls Prevention or dementia care, and the TVs can be used by youth clubs & other groups who use their buildings, like the Farsophone Association and Chinese Mental Health Association.

Age UK Barnet support around 3,500 older people in the borough, with the help of over 200 volunteers. They have a track record of growing new projects like this one from scratch.

The project is simple, fun, inclusive and it gives older people control over what they want to watch and do, rather than someone else deciding for them. This grant can make it happen for them.

Project Video

Age UK Barnet

Moment of Pride

I'm proud that this project shows how Age UK Barnet listen to & involve older people in what they do, giving people dignity & respect, as well as affection, support & care. And it will be fun.

Location: London Borough of Barnet, United Kingdom