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Age UK Bristol:  Kay Libby Chief Executive Officer

Kay started attention and said that happy, cheerful people live 7 years longer which made us all smile! She then went on to tell us about the services they  provide and about the services they are about to start.

Information & Advice service:  providing information and advice on a wide range of finance, housing and social care matters.  We are also currently supporting older prisoners in Horfield prison.

Community Services:  these are our charged for services and include the New Beginnings day centre in Withywood, our Home Support service and Memory Connections which is a cognitive stimulation therapy service for people with mild-moderate dementia and is aimed at delaying memory loss.

LinkAge:  this is a service aimed at improving people’s access to activities and events.  It is LinkAge that organise tai chi, art on Zoom, FAB cafes and discos, befriending and peer support and the phone-based chat groups.  We are also currently supporting older prisoners in Horfield prison.

Helpline:  our ‘front desk’ is staffed by volunteers and if they are unable to help with a query, they pass the call to our Triage Worker who will ensure that the person gets the right help, either from Age UK Bristol or another organisation.

Support Hub:  this is the collective of over 40 organisations who work with/for older people in Bristol and who are now working collaboratively and supportively together since the beginning of the pandemic.  We came together to ensure that ‘no door was the wrong door’ for an older person in the confusion and crisis of the earlier days of the pandemic.

Hospital discharge:  We are piloting a hospital discharge support service alongside the Red Cross and hope to expand this if successful.

Bristol Ageing Better:  about to close, this was a 7 year programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund aimed at tackling social isolation.  The programme was evaluated by University of the West of England and we have achieved statistically significant findings in respect of a number of service models.  As a result, a smaller team of 3 will work for a final year on an entirely new project called Connecting Communities.  In this year, funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group, they will roll out some of the positive models across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  This will include FAB cafés, leg ulcer clinics, group therapy for people with mental health problems and peer-peer bereavement support or ‘Share, Tell and Remember, (STAR) sessions amongst other services.

Active Ageing Bristol is another programme of work that focuses on improving physical activity.  Our Active Ageing Bristol manager is behind the successful Walkfest initiative that happens annually.  She also supports Walking Football, rowing, intergenerational boat building, and dance projects.

About to start:

  • Telepresence robots – we are trialling these in people’s homes over the period of one year
  • Leg ulcer clinic – we will be supporting GP surgeries in delivering a pioneering ‘compression bandaging’ technique for people with lower leg wounds.  Age UK Bristol provides the volunteers and a co-ordinator to link people into our other services and those of our partner organisations.  We encourage people to remain active and mobile, supporting them e.g. by setting up FAB cafes locally and going on guided trips to local places.

A very thought provoking talk, thank you Kay.