Ageing Better Middlesbrough is a six year, £6 million programme aimed at reducing loneliness and social isolation for people aged 50 and over. It’s made up of several different projects and organisations working together to support and empower local older people. We collect and share information about exciting opportunities in Middlesbrough and different ways to connect to your community and enjoy everything it has to offer!
In April 2015 Middlesbrough became one of 14 local authority areas awarded Big Lottery Funding. Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind successfully led a partnership of local organisations through the Big Lottery application process and secured £6 million over six years to deliver a comprehensive programme to reduce loneliness and social isolation for people aged 50 and over in Middlesbrough.
How Ageing Better Middlesbrough works
Ageing Better Middlesbrough has set out to achieve an ambitious vision for older people:
- All older people are valued, active and connected to their communities
- Older people organise and control their own networks providing friendship and mutual support
- Vulnerable older people receive the information and support they need, delivered in a co-ordinated way
- Older people are able to be leaders in their communities and role models to others.
In the first two years (2015 – 2017) five projects are working cohesively to achieve this vision. They are using two approaches to tackle the problem of loneliness and social isolation:
- Support – We provide support to older people who are most in need through our Specialist Support Team.
- Prevent – We use strength-based approaches to prevent loneliness and isolation for older people at risk through our Community Development project and the Ageing Better Middlesbrough Membership scheme.
Our Specialist Support team offers a range of different types of help to support people to feel less lonely and isolated. These include; face to face emotional and practical support; specialist counselling; and a ‘peer friendship’ scheme which matches people over 50 to volunteers based on shared interests. The team’s vision is to support people directly to reconnect with others and their local communities. They help people move forward in their lives and overcome the barriers that have led to them becoming lonely and isolated by tailoring support to meet people’s individual needs.
The Community Development Projects engage with and encourage local people to use their skills and experiences to address issues that are important to their community. They identify and work with local people who are passionate about reducing loneliness and isolation to develop solutions that are relevant to the problems in their area. They support existing community groups to be more inclusive and offer support to improve the skills and confidence of volunteer/group leaders.
Ageing Better Middlesbrough Membership
Regular and accessible information is an important part of Ageing Better Middlesbrough. The programme aims to be a focal point for information about community activities, events and groups making it easy for people to find out what there is to do. It promotes opportunities to get involved with the programme, as well as opportunities to volunteer in Middlesbrough. Ageing Better Middlesbrough also shares good news stories about older people from across Middlesbrough, challenging the stereotypes about getting older.
People can join and become Ageing Better Middlesbrough “members”. They will receive news and information, in their preferred format, linking them to local grass roots community activity, inspiring them to try new things or re-discover hidden talents and re-connect with other people.
If you would like more information or to become a member click here.
Where are we working?
Over the next six years the programme will engage 8,000 people.
In the first two years, Ageing Better Middlesbrough will focus on 11 identified areas. These are: Pallister, Beckfield, Gresham, Park, University, Beechwood, Clairville, Ladgate, Coulby Newham, Hemlington and Kader. However, anyone in Middlesbrough who is identified as experiencing loneliness and social isolation, outside of these specifically targeted areas, will have access to Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s support.
Ageing Better Middlesbrough is supported and guided by a Core Partnership of twelve local organisations who meet monthly.
The Core Partnership has been in place since November 2013. Core Partnership members have worked together to make decisions, steer the development of the programme and provide governance. The Core Partnership will continue to provide this oversight for the programme over the next six years as the programme develops.
- The members are from a range of different sectors and backgrounds:
- Older people are represented by 3 members of the Ageing Better Middlesbrough Advisory Group.
- Voluntary Sector organisations are represented by Aapna Services, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Middlesbrough Environment City, Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency and Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland
- Statutory Sector organisations are represented Middlesbrough Council and South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group
- ABM’s Academic partner is Teesside University
- The Private Sector is represented by a ‘Business Connector’
All of the partners have demonstrated passion and commitment to the development of Ageing Better Middlesbrough. They each bring their expertise, knowledge and links to local, regional and national networks and resources. The members have dedicated time and effort over and above the regular monthly commitment to participate actively in additional meetings and activities to ensure that the programme makes progress.
The aims of the Core Partnership are to;
- Enhance, develop and inform the strategy to deliver the project
- Provide contacts and promote partnerships to support the project’s aims and objectives
- Identify and act on opportunities to provide added value
- Work together to make lasting improvements which reduce isolation and loneliness in Middlesbrough
- Achieve the agreed outcomes of the project.
Test and Learn
Everyone involved in the Ageing Better Middlesbrough Programme is committed to a ‘test and learn’ approach to help gain a better understanding of what works to tackle loneliness and isolation locally and nationally. This means that across the programme, people and projects will be;
- Continually seeking feedback from its beneficiaries – the people who benefit from being involved
- Collecting and analysing detailed information about what the project does and achieves
- Responding and changing what we deliver as we learn more about the people who access the different projects and their needs
- Working closely with the organisations who are evaluating the Programme locally and nationally (Teesside University and Ecorys) .
- You can get involved by giving us your feedback – take our regular surveys.
- Tell us how being involved in Ageing Better Middlesbrough has altered things for you.
- Become part of a team of community researchers
You can get involved by clicking here for more information on opportunities: Get Involved.
Find out more
Ask us to meet with you to explore how you can benefit from joining us in this important campaign. To arrange a meeting please contact:
Michelle Dawson, Programme Manager email@example.com
Tel: 01642 257020
Ageing Better Middlesbrough, 90-92 Lothian Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 2QX
Ageing Better Middlesbrough (ABM) is a six year Big Lottery funded programme aimed at reducing loneliness and social isolation in people aged fifty and over who live in Middlesbrough.
The Big Lottery Fund is investing £70m in England to improve the lives of older people. Further information about the BLF Fulfilling Lives; Ageing Better programme can be found here. (https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/fulfilling-lives-ageing-better)