Working to reduce isolation: What is working in a multi-project Programme?
Like many of the Ageing Better partnerships in England, Ageing Better Isle of Wight (known as Age Friendly Island) is a multi-project Programme. Delivered and managed by Age UK Isle of Wight, 16 projects, run by a range of voluntary and community sector and private organisations, have received The National Lottery Community Fund funding to work to reduce social isolation and increase the health and wellbeing of older people.
This report explores how the Programme is working to reduce isolation by exploring how older people access, participate and move between the projects.
Our research found that for some people, likely to be the more isolated or less connected people, accessing the first project can be key. Once people access a project, two forms of support kick in:
- Firstly, they are opened up to an informal network of other people participating in the groups. This can lead to them hearing about other projects, having someone to go with or introduce them to new things, or having lifts.
- Secondly, they are opened up to the more formal networks of project leads, workers or volunteers. They can hear about other groups from project leads, be introduced to them through people from other projects coming to visit, or meet a Community Navigator who can inform or introduce them.
In order for this to happen, people need to:
This report identifies what can facilitate each stage of this journey.
This is part of the local evaluation of Age Friendly Island. More information about the findings so far can be found in our interim reports and a ‘Costs and Benefits’ report.