Ageing Better in Birmingham

Connecting people over 50 in Birmingham to their communities. 

Welcome to Ageing Better in Birmingham's Learning Depository! The programme is closing down and this website functions as an archive and collection of learning from the programme's seven years of delivery. 

Ageing Better in Birmingham began in 2015 to reduce loneliness and social isolation amongst people over 50 and to help them to live fulfilling lives. It was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and was one of 14 Ageing Better programmes in England working to explore what works in reducing loneliness and isolation through a test and learn approach.  

It was delivered by a partnership of organisations across the city, led by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC). It built upon the strengths and skills of individuals and groups to help create sustainable change within communities.

Together, we reached over 10,300 people across the city.

Here you can find out more about what the programme achieved, information about social isolation and loneliness in Birmingham and also resources to support the programme's legacy. 

Have a browse!

Ageing Better in Birmingham 2015 -2022 Infographic

Find out how we worked to get Birmingham's older citizens connected

Useful resources & learning

Having good neighbours means we have people looking out for us, people to talk to and a reason to feel proud of where we live. In this short film, people in Birmingham explains how contributing to your community can include acts of neighbourliness that can help benefit those in later life.

Make Someone's Day

The Ageing Better in Birmingham programme launched the 'Make Someone's Day' campaign to raise awareness of the importance of starting conversations with people in our community. If we talk to people when we're out and about, while we're waiting for the bus or in the queue to the shop, we can increase the number of connections people have in our community.

"It can really make someone's day,"

said one of our Experts by Experience, about having a random chat with someone while waiting on the bus to come. 

While loneliness and social isolation is a problem all across the UK, almost 57,000 people aged 65 and over live alone in Birmingham, increasing their risk of being socially isolated.

We see it on TV, hear about it on the radio and read about it on social media. Some people go for weeks without speaking to anyone other than the person at their local corner shop. 

The campaign was supported by the National Lottery Fund and Birmingham City Council and aimed to start a movement in Birmingham. By encouraging people to start conversations when on the bus, waiting for the train or while queuing at the shop, older people who are socially isolated can be better connected. It's good to talk. Research has shown that the more people we speak to, the happier we are.

We trialled the campaign in Erdington, where it received lots of support from local citizens, businesses and local politicians, who ensured the message was right and needed. ITV Central featured the campaign on their evening news, and we had coverage in local radio and newspapers. 

Make Someone's Day was due to launch to the wider public on 20 March 2020 outside the Library of Birmingham. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown meant encouraging 100s of people to come together face-to-face was not an option. 

The launch still went ahead, but the messaging changed to encourage neighbourliness and check in on people we haven't spoken to for a while. While it was launched 'from home', the lockdown and the social distancing measures that followed meant this campaign was more timely than ever. 

We were able to tweak messages during the pandemic to respond to changes in the environment. We worked closely with the VCSFE sector, public health and locals in Birmingham to get these messages right.

Ageing Better in Birmingham took on a 'test & learn' approach to gain an understanding of what works when it comes to reducing social isolation and loneliness for people over 50 in Birmingham. As a result, the programme created briefings, reports, case studies, research and evaluations about different approaches and themes linked to the programme.

You find these on this website by filtering resources by 'Birmingham' here