The aim of the Growing Connections project was to improve the physical and mental well-being of socially isolated and lonely older people in the Northwich area, by encouraging participation in volunteering opportunities at Grozone (a welcoming and supportive garden space in the centre of Northwich), as well as through various outreach activities.
Growing Connections was commissioned as part of Brightlife’s ‘Bright Ideas’ strand and was delivered by Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside, part of a national group of charitable trusts called the Federation of Groundwork Trusts.
The Grozone was established in Northwich by Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside, to provide opportunities for people of all ages to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through volunteering. While the project had attracted some older volunteers in the past, the majority were younger people (including those with learning difficulties).
By providing a regular volunteering opportunity specifically for over-50s, it was hoped that the recruitment of socially isolated older people would be facilitated. This would not only empower these individuals to improve their own wellbeing, but also enable them to use their knowledge and experience to support younger volunteers.
Growing Connections was awarded £18,926 for 1 year.