‘Bright Ideas’ announcement

Nearly a quarter of a million pounds has been awarded to local projects to improve the lives of older people in Cheshire West and Chester, with the winners officially announced at a launch ceremony on 13th November.

An intergenerational welding project, a minority ethnic cooking club and a mentoring scheme connecting older ladies with young mums are just three of the local projects that are set to become a reality thanks to Brightlife’s new ‘Bright Ideas’ funding. The fund, designed for community groups and organisations that have an idea for a project that can bring over-50s together and reduce social isolation, will support thirteen local projects with up to £20,000 each, along with business support and training from Brightlife.

Head of Brightlife, Chris McClelland, says: “We have been impressed with the number and quality of the applications to our Bright Ideas Fund. The difficulty we had in choosing the winning projects is testament to the fantastic level of innovation that is present in our local communities when it comes to designing new ways to improve the lives of over-50s.”

Funding was allocated as follows:

  • Bridging the Gap (LIVE!) – an inter-generational project bringing socially isolated older people and disabled young people together to share skills and experiences.
  • CommUnity Kitchen (CHAWREC) – a cooking club for older people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Japanese, Bangladeshi, Hungarian, and Indian.
  • Blacon on the Move (Holy Trinity Church) – an accessible minibus service providing transport for local older people to attend social activities.
  • Fabweld 50+ (The Welding Academy) – a mentoring scheme allowing retired engineers to help young welding apprentices, along with free welding and construction courses and workshops for any older people with an interest in construction.
  • Vision Supported Communities (Vision Support) – a dedicated support worker to provide advice and support to reduce isolation amongst older adults with sight loss in CWAC.
  • Lite Bites Lunch Club (Flatt Lane Community Centre) – expansion of a community-run, volunteer-led lunch club in one of Cheshire West’s most deprived areas.
  • Sporting Memories (Active Cheshire) – a social group providing reminiscence and light physical activity for older sports fans.
  • Sparkle Café (Cheshire Deaf Society/Deafness Support Network) – a monthly club for older people in Northwich who are experiencing hearing loss.
  • Create For Nature (Cheshire Wildlife Trust) – a hands-on scheme to allow older people to create attractive furniture from recycled timber to sell on to the public.
  • Growing Connections (Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside) – a gardening project for older people living in assisted housing.
  • Engaged Motivated Informed (MHA Ellesmere Port/Neston Live at Home Scheme) – an activity programme for older people who have recently retired or been made redundant.
  • Bright Stars (Motherwell Cheshire CIO) – a mentoring project connecting older ladies with young mums who have mental health and/or family breakdown issues.
  • Read and Connect (The Neuromuscular Centre/Cheshire Centre for Independent Living/Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust) – a book club especially designed for over-50s with a long term disabling condition and their carers.

For more information on all of these projects, visit http://www.brightlifecheshire.org.uk/get-funded/commissioned-services/

The next round of applications deadline is 15th December with the panel meetings scheduled for the 9th and 18th January.

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