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Annexe Connects

Annexe Communities was awarded a grant of £628,000 by The Big Lottery Fund Scotland to support the Connects2Project.The Connects2Project launched in January 2015.

This funding for west Glasgow supported almost 900 isolated and vulnerable older residents, age 60 plus, over the past five years. It provided activities such as music classes, meditation, art classes, gentle exercise, singing groups, relaxing therapies and self-help groups. The initiative supported older people to re-connect with their community, to meet new friends and to stay healthier longer.

Quote from existing beneficiary “If we had more places like this – we would need fewer hospitals” – female beneficiary aged 63 attending meditation class.

Summary of original Connects Project

Funded by the Big Lottery for three years from 2011, Annexe Connects was an exciting and innovative project which provided unique support for people aged over 60 and carers, particularly those who had become isolated within their communities.

Devised and delivered exclusively by Annexe Communities, the impetus for the project arose from work we carried out for Glasgow West Community Health and Care Partnership. We identified significant numbers of people coming forward who clearly had become lonely and cut-off from neighbours and friends and felt as if they were living in isolation.

Annexe Connects had been designed around the expressed needs of the users and evolves elements of our own existing varied services to offer the best blend of our expertise and resources with two exciting new courses. Over the lifetime of the project, it was estimated that nearly 550 people would benefit. It actually reached nearly 600.

Two purpose-designed courses, ‘Positive Lifestyles’ and ‘Next Steps’, had been developed. They guided people through a total of ten weeks of self-development and are carefully structured to ensure maximum community integration.

Summary benefits for users included:

  • One-to-one guidance sessions, 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 Night entertainment and Annexe Open Days;
  • Positive health activities, such as easy exercise classes, slower Monday health walk, circle dancing and complementary therapies including stress management;
  • Positive arts activities, such as stained glass, painting, and adult sewing classes;
  • Variety Club where you can try out a different activity each week for 6 weeks;
  • Partick Pluckers - a group where you can learn to play the ukulele, started by Margaret Thomson, volunteer;
  • Regular lunch clubs followed by entertainment afternoon, provided by volunteers;
  • Monthly Friday film nights, meet up with friends at our free local film club.