Bridging the Gaps was an initiative to promote social inclusion and reduce loneliness for older people.
We looked at current research about the types of activities which help people to stay involved, including hosting a workshop with the National Development Team for Inclusion on 'Not a one way street - Research into older people's experiences of support based on mutuality and reciprocity.'
We worked with older people in Jesmond and Throckley to develop stronger networks between local older people's groups and to stimulate new activity.
We started a monthly coffee morning on Wednesdays at the Milecastle in the centre of Newcastle. It's open to anyone to come along for a chat and stimulating conversation.
In Autumn 2013 we launched a small grants programme with Age UK Newcastle. It was called 'Staying Connected' and offered individuals and organisations the opportunity to test out new ideas which will appeal to people who might otherwise find it hard to keep up their social networks. We shared the learning from the projects at an event on 1 April 2014.
To read the Staying Connected: An Evaluation Report, click here.
Organisations across the city are offering a wide range of different activities during the month of October. Keep checking Information NOW and the Elders Council website and facebook page for updates on the activities on offer. Here is just a flavour:
1st October you can spend the morning at Newcastle Eagles taking part in the Golden Games and in the afternoon you can enjoy a visit to Dippy the Dinosaur at Great North Museum and hear from the curator.
On 5th October, you can be inspired at Dance City at Inspire Platform where different groups of older dancers will perform.
On 9th October you have a date with the Elders Council and WEA's Active Voices group who will be parading their banners and songs from Grainger Market to Space 2. John Grundy will be joining us to celebrate.
Or you can enjoy a performance of Chamber Music at Sage Gateshead on 16th October when the Royal Northern Sinfonia are putting on a dementia-friendly performance of Elgar and Mozart.
And there is plenty more to come ....
To keep up to date, look up www.informationnow.org.uk/article/ageing-with-style and look at the Elders Council's Facebook page.