From October 2018 to March 2019, Manchester Cares delivered its second Winter Wellbeing project: a pro-active outreach effort designed to help people over the age of 65 from across the City of Manchester stay warm, active, heathy and connected during the coldest and most isolating months of the year.
Over the course of the winter we were out in the community speaking to people face-to-face at GP surgeries (you can see us here at Cornbrook Medical Practice, hosting our first Coffee & Quiz social club), supermarkets, pharmacies and on people’s doorsteps to ensure our older neighbours felt connected and visible as the days got darker and shorter.
Through the project we had face-to-face conversations with 636 older neighbours, of which 188 received further help through 283 individual interventions – including new social connections, housing repairs, energy advice and financial support.
Take Nora, 79, who we connected with at a coffee morning at a sheltered housing unit in Levenshulme. Initially Nora was reluctant to get involved with our programmes, but after we invited her to our first women’s only chair-based exercise class she was throwing plenty of punches and made plenty of connections during boxercise.
Nora is now looking forward to being matched up through our Love Your Neighbour programme with someone she can share her love for darts, snooker and bowls with!
This is just one example of why this type of proactive community engagement and outreach is so important: there are hundreds more. If you’d like to know the stories and see the full picture, we hope you’ll take a look at our report and infographic below.
The report lays out how we approached this ambitious project, and its impact. It also includes recommendations for future projects to ensure we continue to deliver high quality and relevant help to reduce isolation and loneliness.
The successes of Winter Wellbeing 2018/19 would not have been possible without the support of all the brilliant local organisations that work across the city, who helped us support our older neighbours to get where they wanted to be: leading happier and more connected lives. We'd like to thank you all for your amazing support.
Posted by Amy Saunders on Wednesday 17th April 2019
Amy is Manchester Cares' Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator.