Since April 2015, Brightlife has commissioned, delivered and evaluated a diverse range of services designed to address the issues surrounding loneliness and social isolation faced by older people in Cheshire West and Chester.
Now, as the end of its five-year lifespan approaches, Brightlife is collating the results of this ‘test-and-learn’ approach so that commissioners, service providers and communities alike can build on the experience, knowledge and legacy it leaves behind.
Led by Age UK Cheshire, Brightlife is a partnership between several local organisations from across the voluntary, public and private sectors. It is one of fourteen Ageing Better programmes – a £78 million programme set-up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Ageing Better partnerships are based in 14 locations across England, from Torbay to Middlesbrough and the Isle of Wight to East Lindsey. Working with local people, charities, businesses, public sector services and voluntary groups, the Ageing Better partnerships are exploring creative ways for people aged over 50 to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness.
Central to the Brightlife legacy is its Brightlife Social Prescribing scheme that works closely with health professionals across Cheshire West and Chester to directly refer older people into their projects. The Social Prescribing scheme has been successful in securing up-lift funding from The National Lottery Community Fund until 2021. This will help us extend the learning as well as the direct delivery with older people living in rural locations in Cheshire West and Chester.