The Leicester Ageing Together partnership has been working since October 2015 to reduce isolation and loneliness in older people in Leicester. So far we have reached over 6,000 older people.
Of the 6,000 older people reached through Leicester Ageing Together (LAT) nearly half are aged 80+. The programme has recruited over 1,300 volunteers, as well as funding over £1.5 million of local jobs.
LAT is part of Ageing Better, a programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Ageing Better aims to develop creative ways for older people to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness. It is one of five major programmes set up by The National Lottery Community Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.
Working in conjunction with older people, the City Council and Health partners, our local LAT programme consisted of 23 projects that, over the course of five years, have involved 17 voluntary sector delivery partners.
The programme is focused in 5 city wards: Belgrave, Evington, Thurncourt, Spinney Hills and Wycliffe. These were selected because of the prevalence of risk factors associated with social isolation which have been identified by older people.There is also citywide delivery to African Caribbean older people, older people with hearing loss, those who find it difficult to leave their homes, and those returning home from hospital.
We have worked with people with higher levels of loneliness and poor well-being compared to local and national norms. We know that people’s well-being has improved and loneliness has reduced following engagement with Leicester Ageing Together.
In the final year of a 5-year programme, we have ambitions that Leicester Ageing Together will be locally relevant and nationally significant. We are working with partners to ensure the legacy and sustainability of the gains for older people and their communities made through the programme.