What was Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s Peer Friendship project?
Ageing Better Middlesbrough is a six year, £6 million programme aimed at reducing loneliness and social isolation for people aged 50 and over in Middlesbrough. It’s made up of several different projects and organisations working together to support and empower local older people. The programme collects and shares information about exciting opportunities in Middlesbrough and different ways to connect to your community and enjoy everything it has to offer!
Delivered by Actes, Peer Mentoring was one strand of the Ageing Better Middlesbrough project. It aimed to recruit and support Peer Friendship volunteers to support people to feel less lonely and isolated, helping them to reconnect with others and activities in their local community.
Who did the Peer Mentoring project help?
The Peer Friendship project worked with people aged 50 and over who were lonely and isolated. Individuals who accessed the project included those who had lost a partner and those who had become ‘cut-off’ had lost their independence due to health conditions.
What support did Peer Friendship provide?
Actes recruited and supported Peer Friendship Volunteers to commit regular time to support beneficiaries, in line with the needs of the individual. Support ranged from spending time having a cuppa and a chat to help with shopping and even enjoying days out together.
What was the impact of the Peer Friendship project?
Peer Friendship volunteers contributed in excess of 1600 hours across the 21 month lifespan of the project helping 82 people in total.
Feedback from beneficiaries was extremely positive and some of the comments included:
“I was isolated and now I feel insulated, protected, safe and valued with a sense of optimism for the future.”
“The trips out have helped me restore my confidence and lifts me out of my depression and anxiety.”
Beneficiaries also reported that Peer Friendship was a positive and satisfying project to be involved with, stating:
“We call our friends beneficiaries, but really we are beneficiaries too.”
“It’s given me a raison d’etre”, (a reason to live)
How do I get in touch with Ageing Better Middlesbrough?
Ageing Better Middlesbrough continues its work to reduce loneliness and isolation to individuals in Middlesbrough. If you are over 50 you can contact the Ageing Better Middlesbrough programme on 01642 257030 to meet someone from the team.
What is Trending?
Trending is a new concept clothing bank which provides good quality free clothing to people living in Middlesbrough. Actes has secured funding from the Talent Match Middlesbrough's Innovation Fund and Middlesbrough's Financial Inclusion Group to open Trending, which aims to reduce the stigma attached to receiving clothing donations. The project aims to supply formal, casual clothing and work wear to individuals so that they can be better equipped for employment, education and training. It will also provide casual clothing for those without disposable income.
Who can it help?
Trending can supply clothing to people living in Middlesbrough.
What support is available?
Good quality clothing which has been washed, ironed and made fit for purpose on site is available for those who need it. You can bid for the clothes you want without any money changing hands, through the Trending Facebook page and you can then collect the clothing from the boutique inspired Trending shop. We hope that this enables people to accept free clothing donations with dignity as they are receiving the same shopping experience that they might get from any high street or online retailer.
How do I get in touch with Trending?
There are a number of ways to get involved with Trending both as a volunteer and through the donation of good quality clothing. If you know someone who is in need of the service, contact Trending on 01642 232872 or search for https://www.facebook.com/TrendingMiddlesbrough/ on Facebook to find the virtual shop.