Age Friendly Social Housing Programme

Delivered by HACT in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, Fusion 21, Clarion, South Yorkshire Housing and a number of innovative social landlords, the Age Friendly Social Housing Programme aims to support social landlords, local agencies, and communities to work together to improve opportunities and outcomes for people aged over 50 living in three places (initially Bradford, LB Southwark, and the combined authority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole).

Why it matters and what we aim to achieve

Over 55s are an ‘at risk’ group for experiencing isolation, and organisations like Age UK warn that the UK is facing a ‘loneliness crisis’.  As established landlords, local anchor organisations and placemakers, housing associations can and do play a significant role in creating age friendly communities, providing homes and a range of services that can support people to age well in the places and communities they call home.

Our newly established Age Friendly networks will facilitate joined-up thinking and working between social landlords and their partners around their activities and services for over 50s in the three localities, allowing us to pool resources and move from individual to collective action.

The networks will work alongside residents to create new activities and services for over 50s and enhance existing age friendly provision within each area, testing new approaches to tackle social isolation and loneliness.

What's been happening in Southwark

Warm Hub Provision

The group have identified community hubs to run warm hub and community engagement
activities from. From 1st March, the team have commissioned the provision of weekly, culturally appropriate hot meals at Peabody's Darwin Court.

Independant Age Funding

Independent Age has provided the partnership with £40,000 towards an Older Person’s Financial Support Officer role which would be delivered across community spaces and
events run by our housing partners.

Partnership Working

The programme is building links across the borough and now have a monthly meeting with housing associations and council staff to explore opportunities for joint working and sharing of resources and support services. Cost of living and health and wellbeing have been the main focus of these. They are currently exploring opportunities to partner with the organisation on a Handyperson service which would provide older residents with access to affordable home and garden work delivered by handymen who have training in signposting and supporting individuals experiencing social isolation.

What's been happening in Bradford?

Warm Welcome spaces

Two community hubs have been identified by the partnership in the Tong and Wyke Wards of the city to conduct some ‘warm hub’ and engagement activities over the coming weeks. Residents
have at the Sutton Centre requested a bookcase to set up a community library within the space.

Age friendly networking

One of the issues raised by the housing partners was the demise of a number of local forums which brought together statutory, housing and VCSE partners together around issues for older people. The group are keen to revive these, as a series of networking events. aiming to hold space for innovation and sharing by bringing together a range of local and national representatives and residents to share ideas, and form partnerships.

Bradford UK City of Culture 2025

With Bradford being named the City of Culture 2025, a number of working groups and calls for proposals are beginning to open up. The programme has discussed ideas and opportunities to involve older residents in these celebrations. There has been a particular interest in projects that combine creative activities with support around mental health and wellbeing.

BCP

Over 50s engagement event

The group identified The Henry Brown Centre in West Howe as a community space to run warm hub and engagement activity from. The event combined information and advice stalls (including Citizens Advice Bureau and LiveWell Dorset), free meals from the onsite café, and taster activities like creative writing and pampering.

Community Listening

The team have been visiting a number of supported living schemes, warm hubs and community spaces across the combined authority to connect with older people about the things they value and would like to see more of in their areas. Jo will be sharing these insights with the partnership to inform delivery plans for 2023.

It’s been nice to have a good chat about my memories of Bradford. It’s exciting to think about having social clubs, and joining in with days out again like bowling with younger people – we really enjoyed that when we used to do it.

Service User

Bradford

Cross programme activities

Good practice mentors

We continue to make use of the Ageing Better Good Practice mentors network and have had recent sessions supporting us with resources and guidance on coproduction. The team have been in discussions with The Cares Family who are launching a new mentoring programme on intergenerational work, called The Ripple Effect. Our Age Friendly Coordinators have been working with the organisation to share the opportunity and learning with our age friendly partnerships.

Age friendly community networks

We are relaunched HACT’s Age Friendly Communities Network with an event on 18th April in London, inviting the partnerships and housing associations working on ageing well related projects from across the country to share learning and best practice. We look forward to sharing the resources from the event soon.

I’m so pleased to have a forum where I can meet with other Housing Associations. Housing 21 is quite small locally so it’s good to have other people to share information with and ask questions of.

Housing 21 partner

Get involved

If you would like to get involved or to find out more information, contact HACT Age Friendly Social Housing Programme Manager Paramjot Kaur

Get in touch