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.
Members of the Elders Council and Search participated in a lively discussion at the Independent Age Listening Event. They shared their experiences of ageing; what would help people to age well and issues which they thought both Elders Council and Independent Age should work on in the future. Suggestions included intergenerational relationships; care services and housing.