A PROJECT that helped thousands of over 50s cope with isolation and loneliness during the lockdown has been hailed as a success by an independent report.
The Talk, Eat and Drink (TED) Ageing Better in East Lindsey project was launched in 2015 to help over 50s engage better with the community and each other. Run by YMCA Lincolnshire and focused on the East Lindsey area the scheme has now involved more than 10,000 people in the district.
The project involved creating a befriending service, workshops for digital skills, friendship groups, fitness and cooking classes and advice for over 50s.
During the lockdown many of the face-to-face elements were moved online but the volunteers increased the level of personal calls and ensured gift and care packages were delivered to people’s homes.
Now a two-year long independent report from experts at the University of Lincoln and Rose Regeneration has concluded “there is no doubt that TED has delivered a very powerful change in relation to the building the resilience of older people in East Lindsey” and cited a number of specific successes:
- Engaged with over 10,000 older people though its programme of activities
- Over 100 businesses in East Lindsey have been awarded Age-friendly Business status, which reflects their role in supporting the needs of older customers, and the growing Age friendly culture of the district.
- TED has mobilised 537 volunteers who, collectively, have contributed 13,678 hours to supporting the programme. Based on the national minimum wage, this represents an economic contribution of £112,296.
- Up to 47 per cent aged 50 and over reported a greater well-being over the entire period of the project
The YMCA Lincolnshire worked with a number of partners to deliver the National Lottery-funded project including East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Age UK Lindsey, Citizens Advice Lindsey, Carers First, Magna Vitae and Lincs Digital.
Jane Adams, TED Programme Manager at YMCA Lincolnshire, said she was delighted the report had shown the project had made a real difference to residents’ lives and the communities in which they lived.
“It has been hugely rewarding to work with so many volunteers and residents and see the project impact positively on people’s lives,” she said.
“I believe the project was particularly crucial during the lockdown for helping older residents battle the feeling of isolation and loneliness. Our aim now is to find ways to extend the project to many more communities and make it sustainable and ensure we continue to help people and make a difference.”
If you are interested in reading the report or finding more about the learning, TED has a dedicated learning page on the TED Website.