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Reconnecting the Elderly

Portfolio: Case Study

Big Lottery funding for the Annexe Connects project was first awarded in 2011. The project was highlighted for publicity by the agency as an example of a carefully considered and structured funding application.

The three-year project was designed around the expressed needs of local people in west central Glasgow and is aimed at helping two particularly vulnerable groups – the elderly aged over 60, and carers, many of whom experience isolation, difficulty coping with their responsibilities and, in some cases, consequential mental health issues.

Positive activities with annexe connectsAnnexe Connects, we are confident, will directly benefit nearly 550 people. We have devised two innovative self-development courses and are backing this with one-to-one support, weekly social and personal development activities all set against a background of opportunity for development and maintaining new friendships.

At a practical level, the project provides:

  • Individual sessions for each beneficiary, at least four times a year;
  • Self-help groups - focusing on positive lifestyles in a six-week course;
  • Volunteering opportunities;
  • Social events including lunch clubs, day trips out of Patrick, Alternative Saturday Nights and Annexe Open Days;
  • Positive activities in health, such as easy exercise classes, a slower Monday health walk, circle dancing and complementary therapies;
  • Positive activities in the arts, such as stained glass, painting and drawing, and sewing classes;
  • Variety Club allowing users to sample a different activity each week for six weeks.

The one show on board waverleyAmong the many events which project participants have already enjoyed was the last ‘Doon the Watter’ cruise of the Waverley paddle steamer in the autumn of 2011, a day of fun and friendship that was featured on BBC’s The One Show.

Annexe Connects is costing more than £300,000 over its lifetime and is delivering not only a lifeline to vulnerable individuals, but also securing the posts of three project staff – one full-time development officer and two part-time assistants.

At its launch, Annexe Communities’ chairman, former Glasgow councillor Kenneth Burns, said the timing of the Big Lottery Fund award was critical for a publicly-funded community organisation like ours. But he said he was ‘”confident that our project will make a substantial difference to the lives of many carers and older people in the city – and it will do so in a fresh and highly cost-effective way.”

The project is on schedule to deliver beyond the targets we set ourselves 18 months ago. And for an outlay of a little more than £500 per head we think that the benefits in terms of social cohesion, reduction in reliance on NHS services and general community wellbeing, look certain to add up to excellent value for money.

Download this case study (PDF).
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