Ageing Better Middlesbrough is changing

Details on how the Ageing Better programme is changing - by Programme Manager Michelle Dawson

When I joined the Ageing Better Middlesbrough team as Programme Manager in August 2014, having six and a half years to run this programme felt like all the time in the world. 

This year should have been the final year for the Ageing Better Programme, and ordinarily, I would have been writing this article to tell you about how we are winding down all the amazing activity the programme has delivered so far. 

However, because this year has been far from ordinary, I’m very happy to be letting you know that The National Lottery Community Fund has provided some extra money to let us keep running our most essential services until March 2022. 

There isn’t as much money for this additional year as we are used to having though. This means some of the things the programme does will have to stop in March (like they were due to if the programme had ended on time), but other things will keep going. There is a letter in your envelope that explains this in a bit more detail. 

So, for just over another year, we are continuing to provide telephone and face to face support to older people who are the most lonely and isolated.  

In addition, we are also continuing to provide support to help older people get connected to digital technology and increasing the service that supports older people who are struggling with their mental health, which is so important now. 

Some of the other things we do – like our Warm Welcome and Food and Friendship project – will be around until next September. 

But not everything can stay, and so I feel sad to let you know that this will be the last time you receive one of our newsletters. We also won’t be able to keep putting on the same number of events and activities in the community in the way we have done over the last few years. 

We feel very privileged to have been able to reach so many local people through our newsletter and what’s on guide, and we are so grateful for all your help to promote what we do. 

Although this will be the last official newsletter you receive from us, we really want to be able to write to you in the Spring, to keep you updated with the things that Ageing Better is still doing and let you know about what is going on in your community.  

What is most important is that we are still here for you if you need us. If you are feeling lonely, isolated, or worried about the future, our telephone support service could offer you someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.  

Lastly, I want to say thank you. We have received funding for a further year due to the success of the programme so far, and that is down to the hard work of all our staff, volunteers and members. 

The programme may not be as visible in the community in its last year, but we are very grateful to still be here supporting the most lonely and isolated older people to recover from what has been a very difficult year for everyone. 




Please let us know if you would like us to remove your details so we can update our systems. You can do this by calling 01642 257020 and asking to be put through to one of our team. 

You can also call this number to request a telephone befriending call.  



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