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Older people in Bristol are less lonely thanks to the BAB partnership.

Published on 29 March 2021 03:23 PM

We are delighted to announce the evaluation outcomes from the Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) programme!

Between 2015-2021, Bristol Ageing Better (BAB), a programme of over 40 different projects has improved the lives of older people by increasing their contacts with friends and neighbours, as well as their participation in groups and community activities.

BAB, which is led by Age UK Bristol and delivered through a partnership of 150 other charities has now shared the evaluation outcomes from 6 years of operation.

BAB funded 44 projects to promote community involvement and participation in social activities and local decision-making. 24,196 older people took part in the projects with nearly 3,000 completing questionnaires that helped to gain an understanding of the impact the programme has had in reducing loneliness.

BAB, have now published their outcomes report, ‘Effects of Bristol Ageing Better Projects for Older People’. This report was created in collaboration with a team of local volunteer Community Researchers and staff at the University West of England (UWE) and brings together the findings from the questionnaire-based data, with a focus on the main outcomes concerned with isolation, loneliness, health, wellbeing and social engagement.

Key findings from the report conclude that there were statistically significant positive effects on older people’s social contact with family and non-family members; social participation in formal groups; participation in social activities; involvement in activities and ability to influence decisions.

Joint Head of Programme, Carly Urbanski said “Over the last 6 years, hundreds of organisations and countless individuals have worked together to tackle social isolation and loneliness in Bristol.

“This report not only shows that their efforts have made a real difference, but it also celebrates how community-led initiatives like BAB, can make a positive contribution towards key aspirations in the city and improve the lives of older people; particularly those experiencing loneliness and isolation.

“The learning from BAB must not end with the programme but we are using it to create a fantastic foundation to ensure that Bristol and other cities can create a more age-friendly environment that works for older people and for everyone.”

To better understand the report findings, UWE have also written a context report which outline the wider local and national factors that influenced these outcomes. This report is also available to view on the BAB website.

Our next steps are to support the BAB team to embed this learning locally and to ensure it informs our own services and strategies at Age UK Bristol as we move forward with a post-Covid recovery plan.” Said Kay Libby, Age UK Bristol Chief Executive.

You can read the full report and context report on the BAB website: https://bristolageingbetter.org.uk/evaluation-outcomes-from-the-bab-programme/