Ageing better in Birmingham closed its doors today as their 7 year lottery funding has come to an end.
The national lottery funded community programme began back in 2015 and was created in order to help those over 50 who suffer in isolation.
The charity’s main goals were to setup activities and support networks for those over the age of 65 such as knitting groups, Bosnian dancing, walking groups to aid those combating loneliness.
Another main focus was for the elderly LGBT community running a programme called “Stay out” which worked to tackle the issue of 65+ members to not regress back into the closet.
Within their 7 year span, they managed to get 10,000 people directly involved within the programmes and helped keep them tuned in with those in their area.
Stephen Raybould, Director at Ageing Better in Birmingham was “proud” of the work his organisation had done and was inspired by the charitable work the citizens of the city had achieved.
He exclaimed his joy over the work his team has done: “I’m proud of a lot of the network schemes that we have ran over the years. The real highlight for me is the 100’s of activities that we have managed to start up across the city.
Ageing Better may be over but the work they have started in setting up activities for the elderly continues with the Neighbourhood Network Scheme.
The scheme is due to be up and running within the coming months and will focus on providing more interaction for the elderly within Birmingham.
Stephen continued on his thoughts regarding the future for many of the Ageing Better in Birmingham Staff: “A lot of them will be helping set up the development of the (Neighbourhood network) scheme and building communities right across Birmingham.
“We are also working with the city council on building age friendly cities which is to make the city a better and more accessible place.”
According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to anyone.
Research by them also shows that social isolation not only affects mental health negatively but can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease due to increased blood pressure from stress.
With the over 65 group in Birmingham estimated to rise by 29% by 2040. Birmingham city council believe more needs to be done to make sure the older generations are accommodated for.