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Cascade Volunteer Training was an extension to the original BIG Lottery funded Fit as a Fiddle programme.

This project aimed to disseminate volunteering training packages to both local Age UKs and other organisations who work with older people, promoting physical activity and wellbeing. Age UK have worked with five partner organisations to produce these toolkits. Funding for this project has now come to an end, however the Cascade Volunteer Training packs are still available through our partner consultants.

Cascade Toolkits

Building Better Buddies - developed by Age Concern Central Lancashire

Building Better Buddies provides a training programme for older men as peer buddies and mentors, to motivate and buddy vulnerable older men in new activities.

Come to Tea - developed by the National Association for the Providers of Activities for Older People

Come to Tea supports care homes in personalised activity planning, to train volunteers in roles to support greater independence, mobility and social interaction using the concept of the Tea Party.

Visit the NAPA website

Life and Soul - developed by the National Association for the Providers of Activities for Older People

Life and Soul provides a training package to enable sheltered housing residents to train as peer motivators and organisers.

Visit the NAPA website

Moving Moments - developed by Sporting Equals

Moving Moments trains volunteers as activity organisers and mentors. It focusses on the importance of understanding faith and culture, in order to engage older people from BME communities effectively into opportunities for meaningful physical activity and wellbeing.

Visit the Sporting Equals website

Talking Tonics - developed by Community Network

Talking Tonics offers an innovative group telephone befriending approach, using telephone conferencing as a tool to train volunteers and also support small groups of isolated older people.

Visit the Community Network website

The EngAge Toolkit was part of the original offer, however this is no longer available - developed by Age UK West Cumbria

EngAge offered a one to one approach by training volunteers as befrienders and buddies, who then signposted and supported older people to link with community activities.

How has the project made a difference?

  • The programme empowered and increased confidence of volunteers (nearly 70 per cent reported an improvement in self esteem) to encourage older people into participating in activities to improve their physical, mental and social wellbeing.
  • The training packs are flexible and adaptable, enabling them to be applied to satisfy a range of organisational training need and services.
  • improved knowledge and skills of volunteers, improved ability to engage with certain groups of older people and improved outcomes for older people.

Download the full Cascade Volunteer Training programme evaluation report (PDF, 942KB)

For further information

If you have any questions about the Cascade Volunteer Training programme, please send them to

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK on: 0800 169 8787