Engaged Lives was about sustainable solutions to loneliness, social isolation and disengagement.
While many measures taken to address these issues offer short-term fixes, our project encouraged new habits, mindsets and techniques that could boost people’s ability to find real and lasting community. Engaged Lives aimed to unleash the skills and assets of older people by empowering people to build communities of mutual support, where everyone could help one another to lead meaningful and connected lives.
Based on our learnings from the project we are rolling materials out to all locations during 2023, this involves:
- Hosting Good Neighbours events at each location
- Making Steps to Connection available in each location
- Promoting our new volunteer roles as part of the project
For more information on this project please email us by clicking below.
The centre-point of the Engaged Lives project was the Engaged Lives Workshops.
These brought ExtraCare residents and members of the wider community together, into small groups, to explore new ways to build community and connection.
Over six weeks, the groups discussed themes like Keeping Mobile, Building Resilience, Positive Ageing and Giving Back.
All attendees had the chance to explore their personal barriers to community-engagement, before trying out a range of methods to help them move beyond those.
Each week, a new topic was explored through interactive exercises and discussion, where members of the group shared ideas, support, and encouragement with each other, to experience a sense of growing closeness and progression.
Our Friendly Faces initiative is revamping our befriending offering at ExtraCare, so we can offer a wider range of community-support.
We have created volunteer “Community Teams” in our villages, whose members can work together to devise their own community-building ideas, and who are able to offer more empowering support to residents, building their independence.
We want befriending to be genuinely empowering – a way to help people get back on their feet and sustain community for themselves (where possible). Our teams do this by organising events and working 1-to-1 with people needing support, introducing them to new community-groups and environments, and building people’s confidence to engage community themselves.
Steps to connection
A guide to finding connection in later life
As part of the Engaged Lives project an interactive guide was created for older people seeking greater community called “Steps to Connection”.
This resource was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired by the community-building materials within the Engaged Lives workshops.
In line with the project’s aims, Steps to Connection provided a long-term solution for people seeking greater community, offering a sustainable route-map to connection for anyone aged 55+.