Our vision

About Social Isolation

Our vision is that older people in Leeds need not experience loneliness and isolation as an inevitable consequence of ageing but that our project will offer opportunities for fulfilment by breaking down barriers and building strong communities.

The Big Lottery Fund has laid out a strategic vision, dedicating £82 million pounds to address social isolation around England. By testing and learning from a variety of approaches, The Fund will be able to influence policy and future programming to ensure that growing old does not have to mean being alone.

The need

There are 246,000 older people in Leeds, and it is estimated that about 15% of them are lonely and socially isolated. This amounts to 37,000 people, and the older adult population is always growing. Funding from Big Lottery will allow us to establish a wide range of services and projects to tackle this serious and growing problem.

Loneliness blights both individual lives and our communities through unhappiness and ill-health. This puts carers and relatives under enormous pressure and so we will aim to reach at least 15,000 older people and help them to move out of the shadows cast by loneliness. Older people need not experience isolation as an inevitable consequence of ageing. We want to make social isolation everybody’s business.

Working with a wide range of partner organisations including Leeds City Council, Voluntary and Business Sectors Time to Shine will:

  • promote Leeds as an age friendly city,
  • develop inter-generational links,
  • improve connections with older people from street level upwards,
  • provide support and friendships at home,
  • increase number of volunteers in local communities.

This project will build on the excellent work already being done across Leeds and focus on the more vulnerable, hard to reach people.

Time to Shine Outcomes

1 - Beneficiaries report that they are less isolated as a result of a programme intervention

2 - Programme beneficiaries feel confident and able to participate in their communities by 2021

3 - Older people have been actively involved in managing, designing, delivering and evaluating the programme. This provides quality evidence and influences system change.

4 - Our wider partnership will expand each year and will work better together to coordinate services and support for isolated older people

Most importantly of all…

Older people have been and will continue to be at the heart of managing and designing all of this work

The vision was developed by a cross-sector Core (18 members) and Wider (68 members) Partners and is based on consultations with 863 older people, carers, community workers and decision-makers across the city. We also built upon existing research done by local groups for other purposes so that we could make the most of our resources and have the most comprehensive strategy possible:

Special thanks to Jean Townsend for her work in the background research and consultation.

Read more

Because it is so important, there are many organisations working to fight loneliness and social isolation. Find out more about other work:

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