An amazing 5 years!
Highlights from 5 years of the Ageing Better Middlesbrough project...
The last 5 years have been brilliant!
Even though we’re not going anywhere just yet, we wanted to share some fond memories from the last 5 years with you.
(See how the programme is changing – and how we’re still going to be here for you – by clicking here)
We have supported lots of individuals, hosted a variety of events, highlighted campaigns for older people and championed an Age Friendly approach to everything we do.
We’ve also given £45,000 to over 50 community groups (as part of our Age Friendly Fund), provided 1 to 1 support and psychological therapy for hundreds of people, put together over 25 learning reports, and developed a social media following of over 3,500 people.
More importantly, we have connected people and seen friendships blossom. Many of you have made new, lifelong friends (who you met at one of our events), and this makes us proud. It means that what we set out to do, has worked.
Here’s just some of the highlights from the last 5 years:
. 2014 – Advisory group appointed
In February 2014, an Advisory Group was put together to take part in consultation events and workshops. They also helped to select organisations to deliver parts of the Programme.
. 2015 – Programme launch
In April 2015, Programme Manager Michelle Dawson was joined by newly recruited members, who celebrated the beginning of the project at Teesside University’s Curve Building.
On the day, we launched our newsletter, membership, 1 to 1 support, peer befriending service and community-based events.
. 2016 – We became Dementia Friendly
Having completed a short training course, we officially became Dementia Friends in 2016. The aim of a Dementia Friend is to spread knowledge and turn ‘understanding into action’.
As part of our Age Friendly work, we’ve held dementia friendly events, created campaigns to highlight dementia in our area and regularly attended the Dementia Friendly Awards day.
. 2017 – Reached a landmark of 1,000 members
Early in the year 2017 we recruited over 1,000 members. Some received our newsletter, some attended events and taster sessions and others helped to promote the Programme on a continuous basis.
. 2018 – Age Friendly Middlesbrough
In November 2018, Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s Age Friendly Project was launched with a view to become one of the World Health Organisations recognized age friendly towns. Speakers at a special event included the Mayor, Public Health officials and Programme Manager Michelle Dawson.
. 2019 – Getting out and about
A variety of intergenerational events dominated 2019, where we attracted over 2,000 visitors at the Dundas Arcade and Hillstreet Centre.
There were lots of activities, games and entertainment for everyone to enjoy – including a 50’s day with live singer, chair-based exercise sessions, local history talks, clay modelling, painting, and a variety of workshops.
The Age Friendly Project also launched sensory loss and transport workshops.
. 2020 – Alternative successes
Even though this year hasn’t been the year we really wanted, we tried to do the best we could in the circumstances.
Over the lockdown period, we provided over 3,000 befriending calls to those aged 50+ in Middlesbrough, recruited 15 volunteers to help provide digital advice to members and developed the Rainbow Friends postcard project – which allowed different generations to send heartwarming messages to each other. Our affordable warmth team were also on hand to provide energy support.
Prior to the pandemic, we launched the Have a Seat campaign, an initiative which seen retailers and businesses offer a chair at the front of their store for older shoppers.
We also ended the year with a magnificent 3,800 members.
If you are one of the many people who have taken part in one of our events, gatherings, taster sessions or café meet ups, we’d like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Each and every one of you have made the Programme what it is today, and we’ll never forget that. Thank you!