Ageing Better in Camden invests over £300,000 to tackle loneliness among older people in the borough

Ageing Better in Camden is a partnership of older people and Camden organisations, working together to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older people.

One of the fourteen Big Lottery Fund Ageing Better programmes working across England, they draw on existing skills and resources in the local community.

This month they are investing over a quarter of a million pounds (£337,000) in fourteen smaller organisations across Camden who will provide high quality, supportive activities for older people in Camden – helping them keep fit, meet new people and get involved in their community. Some of the activities will be for men only to encourage older socially isolated men to get involved in their communities.

Organisations ranging from community and women’s centres, resident’s associations, the city farm and a community theatre company will benefit from this Big Lottery funding.

So far Ageing Better in Camden partners have supported older people to build confidence with technology, start a women’s-only swimming club, get involved in gardening, start a career in acting, meet their younger neighbours, and learn new dance moves.

Richard Wilson, 61, said “I am retired and I live alone. I found that I was becoming more isolated as I began to lose touch with work mates. Activities like those at Dragonhall have helped me to get out and about and meet new friends. Also the variety of activities is amazing. There seems to be something for everyone from lunch to yoga.”

The funding has been awarded to these twelve Camden organisations; West Hampstead Women’s Centre, Community Association West Hampstead, Holborn Community Association, Henna Asian Women’s group, Fitzrovia Community Centre, Kosmos Centre, See Through Theatre, Kentish Town Community Centre, Abbey Community Centre, Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust and Somali Youth Development Resource Centre, Kentish Town City Farm, Third Age Project, Akash Residents Association and Highgate Newtown Community Centre.

Ageing Better in Camden is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Ageing Better aims to develop creative ways for older people to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness. It is one of five major programmes set up by the Big Lottery Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.