Age No Barrier

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Age No Barrier

Farmborough, Reuno Unido
Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Based on the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme,but for older people. Reducing isolation and lonliness through participation & recognition of achievement.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Research by a number of organisations (such as Hants CC Older Persons Strategic Board) has established that there is a need to equip Older People to cope more effectively with life-changing events which can otherwise seriously impact on physical & mental health, social isolation & quality of life. The detrimental effect that loneliness & isolation can have on OP's physical & mental health & wellbeing is widely recognised with research suggesting that it is as great a threat to individual's health as smoking & obesity. 1 in 10 OP experience chronic loneliness & can spend 70-90% of their time in their own home - this increases as they older and frailer. The problems of isolation & loneliness can be even greater for people from minority ethnic groups as they may find it more difficult to access information. We have an ageing population & by 2016 the number of OP in Hants is projected to rise to 20% of the population, with the greatest rise in the number of 85s. Local issues that Age No Barrier addresses include: Making OP more aware of the many good quality services available to support them (in the Older Persons Plan for Rushmoor in states that not all OP are aware of these services); Rushmoor contains pockets of deprivation which starkly contrast with neighbouring affluent areas. For example 4 areas fall within the worst 20% nationally on the income deprivation affecting OP domain of the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010, & 9 within the worst 20% on the education, skills and training domain; Rushmoor experiences significant health inequalities. It has 2 in the worst 10% & 3 in the worst 20% on the Health Deprivation domain of the IMD, the greatest modelled adult obesity prevalence in Hants & life expectancy for men living in the least deprived areas is more than 8 years higher than for those in the most deprived areas; RHL and partners have found that local OP attending activities will often say eg 'it is the first time for a long time that I have looked forward to a Monday' or 'it is the first time that I've been out on a Sunday for years'; Rushmoor has a high Nepalese population (+10%) & a very high proportion of these are OP. Needs identified by the NHS's Nepali Health Needs Assessment include key health problems being Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease & Hypertension, depression (esp. older ladies) & a large proportion unable to speak English

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Age No Barrier's (ANB) objectives are to empower Vulnerable Older Adults (British and especially Nepalese) to deal more effectively with future life-changing events by helping them make physical, mental & social changes which will equip them to cope better & recover more quickly. ANB focuses on increasing participant’s self-esteem, self-confidence &mental resilience, & creating new friendship/peer support groups. Through the delivery of ANB we are increasing volunteering locally & encouraging more involvement in the community, especially through interacting with the Nepalese community. Our programme of current & planned activities encourages the use of skills, knowledge and experience OAs have developed through life to help others. ANB runs along similar lines to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Although this scheme exists for young people, as far as we can ascertain, the idea has not previously been trialled for OAs & the whole project is therefore a completely innovative way of engaging OAs. We have amended elements of the DoE so as to ensure that our Award best achieves the projects objectives & meets local needs- for example by replacing the DoE 'Expedition' strand with a 'Personal Challenge' one. so participants are supported by the project team in setting and achieving goals under each of four strands: 1) Volunteering, 2)Learning a new skill, 3) Achieving a physical challenge, 4) Undertaking a personal challenge. Bronze, silver and gold tiers enable progression, with achievement of each strand becoming more challenging. We are currently running a number of activities under ANB and have many more about to start. These include English, literacy & Culture classes attended by Nepalese which act as a very useful vehicle to improve the Nepalese participant's ability to integrate, rather than focusing on academic achievement – for example understanding how to manage day to day situations such as going to the shops, booking appointments and recognising and understanding signs. We also run Yoga sessions run by Nepalese and English instructors & have access to a wide range of other exercise/fitness classes including Walking, Pilates, Tai Chi. We also run Crochet classes delivered in care homes & we are also signing participants up to a programme of excursions such as trips to places of interest & camping which we bring both communities together
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A lot of the Nepalese OAs have very limited language and literacy skills & in many cases cannot read or write in their native tongue (let alone English) so standard ESOL classes leading to academic results are in most cases of little or no effect. Our classes for English therefor cover culture and are specifically geared to help the participants deal with often problematic day to day issues eg. Helping to book & attend Drs appointments - with a large portion of the Nepali OAs suffering from health problems there is among the local British community a perceived strain on local health resources compounded by language barriers that are encountered between the Nepalese and the health professionals who struggle to understand and explain. Our classes pointedly address this to help them to integrate & ultimately improve local cohesion. A number of the Nepalese OAs who have worked with RHL & benefitted from improving their language skills are now volunteers who help in a number of valuable ways such as interpreting & coordinating the delivery of other activities (including passing on advice & information on health & wellbeing such as raising diabetes & cancer awareness).

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

University of the 3rd Age (U3A) & Age UK do in many cases run similar activities & services to Age No Barrier & this does sometimes create issues in terms of us being able to get the right message across & to distinguish the differences in the way ANB seeks to engage with OAs. U3A for example offer a wide variety of activities including physical & social (walks, outings, events, clubs). However U3A is an established membership organisation with a continual drive to recruit new members & boost the portfolio of activities. RHL & partners work hard to ensure that ANB is distinguishable from U3A by emphasising that the project's key objectives involves engaging with the more lonely & isolated OAs in the area as these are exactly the sort of people who do not & will not engage with organisations such as U3A - mostly they will have neither the capability, resources or confidence to join such a subscription group such as U3A. So although the existence of organisations such as U3A & Age UK can seem to muddy the water from time to time, ANB does not seek to compete with these organisations as we engage with the local Nepalese & also the more vulnerable OAs who don't do U3A & AgeUK events
About You
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About You
First Name


Last Name


Implementer(s) and cooperation partners



Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located

, HAM, Farmborough

How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

RHL'is a registered charity. Primary objective is to implement change by providing opportunities & support to disadvantaged older adults enabling them to improve their physical & mental well-being . Overcoming barriers that may include lack of knowledge, low education levels, financial deprivation, lack of local amenities, poor transport links, ethnicity related issues, & low self-esteem/ self-confidence.
We deliver high-quality, cost effective user-led interventions which address specific identified local needs & make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged older individuals

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Cooperation partner

Rushmoor Borough Council


Public body



How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Promotes Age No Barrier and provides facilities to support the project

Cooperation partner

First Wessex Housing Association



How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Promotes Age No Barrier and allows access to its residents and provides facilities to support the project

Cooperation partner

Step By Step



How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Promotes Age No Barrier and ptovides activity opportunities and facilities to support the project

Cooperation partner

RVS (Rushmoor Voluntary Services)



How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

Provides access to volunteers and volunteer recruitment plus transport for older people

Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Health literacy and patient empowerment, Prevention and early diagnosis of functional and cognitive decline, Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

We work with 4 key strategic partners: Rushmoor Borough Council, Rushmoor Voluntary Services, Step by Step & First Wessex. All 4 of these partners were involved in consultation & project design before and during the bidding stage. Funding was successfully obtained from the Big Lottery to deliver ANB over 18 months. Following on from this the partners have cooperated in the following ways (for which they were strategically brought in to do): RBC: to help promote the project (we will be featured in the next Arena magazine which is a local magazine published by RBC and distributed across the borough free of charge); RVS: Have enabled project staff & volunteers to take mini bus awareness training so that we can have use of their mini buses when required for the delivery of activities & excursions; Step by Step is a charity for homeless and vulnerable children who have often had traumatic childhood experiences - we are in the process of arranging for Nepalese OAs to be involved in interactive sessions with residents of Step by Step to inform, educate & inspire them with real life tales of the experiences serving I the Gurkhas and coming to England; First Wessex, access to care homes

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Although there were no actual trials as such prior to the bid being submitted & accepted RHL did directly consult a wide range of OP & relevant local organisations. Over 300 Older People were consulted via the Project Sounding Board, Older People's Forums & groups. As mentioned above the 4 key strategic deliver partners were involved with consultation & design. Other organisations & prominent local people were consulted including local GPs, Hants CC OP Wellbeing Team, County Cllr, Local Cllr & Chair Senior Citizens' Forum, Local Nepalese Community Groups & Innovations in Dementia. Feedback from all consulted was overwhelmingly positive.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for less than a year

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

complementary (your solution is complementing existing solutions and compensating their weaknesses while not intending to substitute them)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

Integration & cohesion-trying to get older people of different cultures & ethnicity to integrate is very difficult especially in a borough such as Rushmoor where there are many myths publicised about the Nepalese culture, sensationalised on the back of a large influx of older Nepalese ex-Gurkhas .We aim to overcome this barrier by promoting the cultural positives the Nepalese migrants have that are often largely unseen & unknown, & also in doing so we hope to dispel many of the incorrect myths that have evolved on the back of negative campaigns against the integration of the Nepalese in the borough. Specifically we plan to combat the issue of integration by using ANB Nepalese participants in positive ways such as delivering inspirational and informative talks to younger people at Step by Step, showcasing work done by gardening volunteers (helping those who are unable to maintain their gardens) & also raising local awareness of the lengths many of the Nepalese OAs are going to in trying to successfully integrate. In terms of achieving cohesion we believe that our camping club & programme of excursions will evolve & successfully bring English & Nepalese together in a meaningful way

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees



Approx 30



External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)


What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Project Manage, public & private sector experience of managing people, budgets & delivering projects. Nepalese coordinator is qualified health professional & interpreter with strong local links across the Nepalese community. As a large portion of the Nepalese do not speak or read either English or Nepalese he is invaluable at being able to get the message across to the Nepali community and to get them to engage - having worked with RHL for a few years now his value is demonstrated by virtue of the fact the RHL is very much the go to organisation for accessing Nepalese locally.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Project Manager with two Coordinators (one Nepalese & one British) plus one Monitoring Officer. Project Manager is full time, two coordinators are part time (20 hours per week each) & Monitoring Officer is part time (10 hours per week).

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

Approx 80,000 euros (estimate)

National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)

% 100 - Big Lottery

Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

Vulnerable older adults aged 50+ especially including Nepalese older adults as well as older adults who are on a low income, living alone or socially isolated, those without social or family support networks, those with existing or potential health problems (mental and physical), older carers (caring for older parents with dementia for example).

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.

Approx 100 but this will increase to over 600 over the next 12 months

In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

The boroughs of Rushmoor, Hart, Guildford, Surrey Heath, Bracknell Forest and Waverley

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

Nepalese and other vulnerable older adults:
* Will have increased self esteem and self confidence which will help them better cope with future life changing events.
* Will have more positive mental attitudes and improved mental resilience which will better equip them to cope with and recover more quickly from future negative situations.
* Will experience reduced social isolation and will have created peer support groups/friendships which can provide support during future life changing events.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

To challenge pre-conceptions and myths about ageing and older people and recognise and celebrate the many diverse ways that older people are contributing to family, community and civic life.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

Improved the confidence and wellbeing of between 50-100 participants & volunteers through current range of activities. 12 Nepalese have achieved set goals through English/Cultural Learning classes and approximately 10 older British adults residing in care homes have achieved set goals in learning and practicing Crochet. All participants have indicated that they feel an improved sense of self worth and well being as a direct consequence of engaging in the events/activities and word has and is spreading very quickly - we have a fast growing list of people wanting to get involved.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Experience-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on your experiences with the target group), Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods), Self-evaluation (you used qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess impacts), External evaluation of impacts based on qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, etc.), External evaluation of impacts based on quantitative methods (quantitative measurement of impact indicators).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Organisational structure.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information. - Jim Ruddy/Brian Davies

What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

1) 600 people to have participated in the project and demonstrated their increased self-esteem and self confidence by July 31st 2014
2) 600 people to have successfully achieved at least one of the project strands, 500 of which must have achieved the bronze medal by July 31 2014
3) 500 people to have made new acquaintances and/or participated in a group activity. They must have noted this on their self evaluation form.