The Centre for Ageing Better and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) have given funding to five projects to pilot ways to make volunteering more age-friendly and inclusive.
The awards follow a review by the Centre for Ageing Better, which identified several factors that make it harder for some over 50s to volunteer such as ill health, having less money or coming from certain BAME backgrounds. It also found going through major life events like bereavement or caring for loved ones can make it harder to continue volunteering.
The Centre for Ageing Better has awarded £250,000 of Government funding to five projects to pilot. The projects in North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, East Sussex, Kent and London each received just over £50,000. They will use the funding to develop good practice approaches that will help to promote and sustain the efforts of people over-50 who might face challenges to being involved in formal volunteering roles or who help their friends and neighbours in other ways which may not be recognised.
The fund was launched following ‘Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering’, a review of community contributions in later life, conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better in partnership with the Office for Civil Society in DCMS. It found that many older people face barriers to taking part or staying involved, which can get worse if their circumstances change, particularly for those who are less financially secure,
have poorer health or come from certain BAME backgrounds.
Dr Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“We’re very pleased to be working with DCMS and a host of great charities to find new ways to help older people volunteer in their communities. Huge numbers of people in later life choose to give their time to volunteer, bringing great benefits to the people around them and making them feel good, feel more involved in their communities, and with a greater sense of purpose.
But those who would benefit the most from volunteering face the most barriers to getting involved. We want to find out how voluntary organisations can break down these barriers, and I look forward to seeing and sharing the solutions that these projects come up with over the next year.
Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, added:
I’m determined to harness the expertise and experience of people of all ages, and ensure the opportunity to volunteer is open to everyone. Volunteering is a great way to build connected communities and this funding will make a real
difference to people’s lives across the five project areas.
Image credit: Mims Davies and Dr Anna Dixon courtesy of Ageing Better