The “Time to Connect” project is set to change the lives of thousands of people in care thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.
The National Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and Timebanking UK (TBUK) today announced an exciting new partnership project to improve the lives of older people and people with learning disabilities who live in formal care.
Time to Connect is a project made possible thanks to over £700k from the Big Lottery Fund. The partnership project brings together the experience that both organisations have developed to create a unique model for community inclusion within the care sector.
Joe Ferns, Big Lottery Fund UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director commented on the project, saying
“With the ageing population growing, it has never been more important to support older people and those with learning disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives. We are delighted that our funding for the Time to Connect project will help build new community connections and create a more inclusive society for everyone”.
With loneliness increasingly being recognised as a major cause of deteriorating physical and mental health, Time to Connect will work with care homes to reduce the impact on people within traditional care settings by ensuring they are still actively involved and connected with their communities. The three year project will involve working with selected care homes in Greater Manchester, Gloucestershire, Lambeth and Southwark.
Rob Greig, NDTi's Chief Executive explained why this is so important now;
"We know there are pockets of best practice within the sector, however many care homes struggle to sustain the necessary community links that result in real social inclusion for the people they care for. By working directly with care homes on a project of this scale we can bring all of the shared experiences together to coproduce an enduring model that all care homes could use to enrich the lives of people within their communities."
The ground breaking project brings together NDTi's work on community inclusion mentors and TBUK's work on community time banks to create a new sustainable model that enables people within formal care settings to be valued on an equal footing by continuing to give their knowledge and skills back into the local community.
Sarah Bird, CEO of Timebanking UK added “we are thrilled to hear that we have been awarded the funding for this 3 year project and look forward to working with NDTi to engage and involve residents of care homes to enhance their quality of life.”
As well as establishing an alternative model for community inclusion, during the project community stories, evidence of impact and any shared learning will be published to contribute to the ongoing national debate on the care of people within formal care settings.