Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering grant programme
In partnership with DCMS, we funded five projects to trial different ways of engaging and supporting older volunteers.
As people age, it's critical that they have opportunities to participate in their communities. We know from our review on volunteering and community contributions that the least healthy and least wealthy in society are most likely to miss out on the wellbeing benefits of taking part. People who are at risk of missing out are those that are time-poor (working), individuals in deprived communities and those in poor health or with a disability.
In partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), we awarded grant-funding in 2019 to five projects to pilot, develop and share new approaches to age-friendly and inclusive volunteering.
The projects worked to help people overcome barriers they may face to taking part and sustaining involvement as circumstances change. They also tested out six principles of age-friendly and inclusive volunteering set out in our review to ensure opportunities to contribute and volunteer – both formal and informal – are open to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
While COVID-19 has delayed completion of some projects as organisations focus on their local community response to the pandemic, we are delighted to be able to share the outputs developed:
- Kent Coast Volunteering’s From Supported to Supporter initiative organised new social activities to highlight different ways people could give their time and help others across the coastal communities
- Growing Connections, led by Sustain, helped community gardens across London become more age-friendly and inclusive for volunteers and visitors of all ages
As well as publishing our findings from the grant programme, we look forward to sharing the outputs from the other projects later this year:
- Late Spring supported bereaved people to reconnect with their community and help others in the local area across Oxfordshire
- Good Friends for All paired volunteers with individuals in need of support and connected them to community activities in Craven, North Yorkshire
- Hastings Age-friendly Volunteering established a social club to help individuals re-engage with community activities and supported Volunteer Champions to promote inclusive opportunities