Knit and natter
Supporting the older generation
Funding level: Up to £1,000
Portsmouth Pensioners Association(PPA) runs events like 'Knit and Natter' and coffee and bingo mornings to reduce the isolation of older people. Both events are designed as simple ways of getting people together and providing some social activity outside people's homes to reduce the loneliness and depression described below. The older generation have limited access to the internet, although this is changing. This makes being able to meet other people even more important and of course the internet cannot replace this.
These events are at present confined to the south of Portsmouth.PPA would like to pilot them in the north of the City in areas such as Farlington and Cosham, which have large percentages of older people to see if these can successfully help reduce isolation for the elderly in the City.
The impact will be almost immediate and it is hoped that by providing this first step for people the events will then grow naturally and perhaps widen their scope to include singing, music and story telling.
The events are organised and run by volunteers, mainly from PPA. Extending the events will have the benefit of increasing opportunities for older people to volunteer, whether that is in the actual delivery of the events themselves or organising a programme of events and their associated services(e.g. organising transport for those who are less mobile).
The grant will meet the costs of:
-the transport for those who lack the mobility to get out of their homes.
-refreshments at the events.
-any direct materials (e.g. wool knitting needles)
-publicising the event through medium such as Flagship (the Portsmouth City Council magazine).
As the events are run by volunteers there are no staff costs to meet.
Promoting the events
In addition to Flagship (see above) the events will be promoted through:
-PPA 's 'in house magazine (edited and designed by PPA volunteers) going out to c.5000 people.
-That's Solent a local free view TV channel.
-Local radio (e.g. Express FM).
-Its own website.
PPA has recently achieved funding to develop the circulation of its magazine and improve its website, as older people become more 'IT literate'.
A grant of £1000 will go a long way to ensure PPA can support a pilot programme of at least 7 events in areas they have not done previously. It is estimated this would help between 100-150 older people.
The need for this project
It is estimated there is a pensioner population of 35,000 in Portsmouth in 2016. There will be an increase of 14% in the number of those aged 85 and over in the next decade. All electoral wards in the city will see an increase in the number of people aged 65 and over.
In 2015 there were 13,374 people aged 65 and over living alone.
10% of people aged over 65 feel often or always lonely. 16% of older people in deprived inner city areas experience severe loneliness.
Loneliness can increase the likelihood that people will become depressed.
Between 10% and 15% of the 65+ population have depression and 3% to 5% have severe depression. By 2025 these figures will rise to 3-5,000 with depression and over 1,000 with severe depression.36% of older people feel out of touch with the pace of modern life. Nationally 72% of those who do not have access to the internet/ do not intend getting it/do not have access through family and friends are aged 65 and over, internet contact is not an option for many older people. Locally only 22% of those aged 75 and over reported as having internet access.
Portsmouth Pensioners Association
To connect with this organisation
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The events are run by volunteer members of PPA , who will understand the issues faced by older people living alone, and so can deliver the events with some real experience, and tailor them to be what older people really want.