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In March 2015, the Age Friendly Island partnership was successful in securing £5.7million for a period of 5 years from the BIG Lottery Fund to combat social isolation amongst local older people. This exciting partnership of 11 organisations aimed to make the Isle of Wight a truly great place to grow old. Led by Age UK IW, the partnership was made up of organisations committed to building an Island that values, respects, engages and actively supports older people, with the voice of older residents at the heart. 

Our vision and aspiration is to change attitudes to ageing, with older people seen as 'assets' rather than ‘burdens’, and to take the stigma out of planning for later life. We will create an age friendly Island, led by older people and those contemplating later life by building a movement for change to combat social isolation and culminate in World Health Organisation (WHO) Age Friendly Cities and Communities accreditation, the first rural area of the UK to do so. Lessons learned will enable replication to other rural areas offering inclusion & promoting equality for all older people.

Age Friendly Island Projects

All of the projects below were designed with the needs and aspirations of older people in mind, and all were led by passionate organisations that are committed to creating an Age Friendly Island. Every project was open to anyone over the age of 50 years old.


Age Friendly Island delivered by Age UK Isle of Wight

Working to achieve inclusive communities where the needs and aspirations of older people are considered at every level of service planning, and to achieve World Health Organisation accreditation of Age Friendly status.

 Age Friendly Island

Men in Sheds delivered by Age UK Isle of Wight

There are 15 Sheds on the Isle of Wight, 12 of which were established by Age UKIW’s Men in Sheds Project. The main aim of the Sheds is to reduce social isolation and help with health and wellbeing. Sheds mostly attract retired older men, but some have women and younger members too. The Sheds provide a place for Shedders to be productive, form friendships and to undertake community improvement activities.

To find out more simply click the blue buttons below:

Digital Inclusion delivered by Age UK Isle of Wight

The Digital Inclusion Project, delivered by Age UK Isle of Wight, as part of the Ageing Better programme, has been offering 1-to-1 digital support and drop in sessions for those aged 50 and over since April 2015. Demand for their services has been so great that the team has recently expanded, and the range of support has been increased.

To find out more simply click the blue button below:

Digital Inclusion Project


SingAbout and Creative Futures delivered by Independent Arts

Independent Arts run two projects to help alleviate social isolation among older people. SingAbout provides regular weekly singing groups whilst Creative Futures uses volunteers to improve the quality of life for older people living in care homes.

To find out more simply click the blue button below:

SingAbout and Creative Futures

Alzheimer Café’s delivered by Alzheimer Café Isle of Wight

Alzheimer café’s provide support to older people and those with early onset dementia, their carers and families in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

To find out more simply click the blue button below:

Alzheimer Café’s

Care Navigators delivered by Age UK Isle of Wight

Care Navigators are based in GP’s surgeries and offer free and impartial advice to assist people aged 50+, as well as families and carers, with any challenges they may face.

To find out more simply click the blue button below:

Olderpreneurs delivered by the IW Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce provide support, mentoring and networking for people over the age of 50 to start their own business. Provides support to older people wanting to set up their own businesses, through 1 - 2 -1 mentoring, workshops and networking meetings. For more information please email: or call: (01983) 520777.

Community Navigators delivered by Wight Home Care

Community Navigators tackle social isolation for adults 50+ supporting people who would like to get out to community activities. To find out more simply click the blue button:  Community Navigators 


Isle Find It

Citizens Advice are working together to provide an up-to-date information, service, business and community directory for the Isle of Wight.
To find out more simply click the blue button below:
Isle Find It

Caring for Carers delivered by Carers IW

Carers IW offer support to carers over the age of 50 who do not know what help is available, and provide carers with opportunities to get involved in their local community. To find out more simply click the blue button below:Caring for Carers


Alternative Transport Scheme 

Research to map transport options on the Island and looking at potential solutions to fill gaps, as well as offering transport advice. (Ceased September 2017)

Education 50+

 Developing older volunteers to support schools and engage older people in their local community. (Ceased August 2017)

Mental Health Peer Support

Peer to peer support for older people suffering with mental health issues to be run across the Island. (Ceased September 2018)

Employment Support

Supporting people over 50 to overcome barriers to engagement & employment, or retrain for a change of career. (Ceased March 2019)

Some of the photos above were kindly provided by the Centre for Ageing Better. Licence to use can be found HERE