At Brightlife our aim is to work together as a community to reduce social isolation. Our project centres around partnership work, collaboration and co-production; consulting with and listening to the people who will ultimately, be using the services we have commissioned.
It can be a challenge to reach and cater for socially isolated people who may have lost their motivation or confidence to try new things so it’s crucial to involve them in the discussions about what might help individuals reconnect. We need to really understand and address the obstacles that prevent people from getting involved in their communities if we’re to get anywhere close to solving the problem.
Margaret Yorke is 79 years old and a volunteer with Brightlife. She spent the latter part of her career working with older people and is passionate about helping them improve their lives. After retirement Margaret continued with this work through her involvement with Brightlife. “What’s struck me most is no matter how much you think you know about older people, you don’t really understand the issues and obstacles they face until you’re living in an older body yourself. Everything Brightlife does takes place in consultation with older people… from the services they commission to the running of the activities themselves… it has to be this way if we’re going to get it right.”
We’re so excited to be working with Storyhouse again this summer as like us, they’re all about building communities and creating new ones, so this beautiful new venue provides the perfect setting for our ‘Great Get Together’! We wanted to build on last year’s success and make sure we’d listened to and incorporated the views, ideas and ambitions of the older people we work with in this year’s celebrations… So we hosted a ‘Think-In’ where we invited the community to come along and tell us what they wanted to do, see, learn, watch, eat, hear, show or share over the course of the weekend. We’re delighted that our friends at Welton Media managed to capture all this co-production in action! A true collaboration of individuals and organisations working together to reach the same goal.
Join us at Storyhouse in Chester 22nd-24th June for this year’s Great Get Together… and let us know how we did!
Brightlife is a partnership led by Age UK Cheshire, awarded £5m as part of the £78 million National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set-up by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Ageing Better partnerships are based in 14 locations across England and working with local people, charities, businesses, public sector services and voluntary groups to explore creative ways for older people to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness. Ageing Better is one of five major programmes set up by the Big Lottery Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.