Age Action Alliance Weekly Member’s News – 19 June 2017

Opportunities for Action


  • Age UK London are hosting a free workshop on Monday 19 June at 1.30pm ‘Introduction to Strategic Planning’. Strategic planning is the process of: clarifying what the organisation is about; deciding what is and is not a priority for the use of resources; analysing the internal and external environment; considering how best to deal with upcoming changes and transitions; setting out a clear direction; and setting concrete goals for the future. Funders want to be sure that your organisation is sustainable before they consider your application for grant funding. Click here for registration and venue details.


  • We would like to remind you of the HOP network meeting this week on Wednesday 21 June, 1.30pm – 3.30pm in the Henfrey Suite at Blackburne House. The theme of the meeting is living well through arts and culture. For the first part of the meeting, Claire Cowell from Age Friendly Manchester will be presenting to the network about the Valuing Older People Strategy for Manchester. The second part of the meeting will focus on local organisations across Liverpool city region who may want to apply for HOP Pot funding, small grants for projects aimed at enabling older people feel less isolated and to live well through the enjoyment of arts and culture. There are a number of cultural organisations already signed up to present at the meeting, including Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the Victoria Gallery & Museum, National Museums Liverpool’s Galkoff’s & the Secret Life of Pembroke Place, House of Memories, Memory Lane Theatre Company and The Spider Project. Please RSVP 5pm by Tuesday 20 June to attend the event. Click here for more information.


  • OPEN Forum – the Older People’s Engagement Network are meeting on Tuesday 27 June in Stoke on Trent. This is a round table forum where you can meet with other members of the over-50s community, and public sector key workers, to give your feedback on the issues that are relevant to you. Plus lots of free advice from experts on money, benefits and security. Click here to register!


  • A message from Adfam, the national charity for families affected by drugs and alcohol, with regards to their project working with older carers in London. They have published a report on their findings. Since September 2014, they have been funded by City Bridge Trust to run a peer support project for anyone over the age of 55 in London who is affected by a loved one’s drug or alcohol use. This has taken the form of a monthly peer support group, with quarterly outings and social activities. The funding for the project is coming to an end in September and they are looking for options to continue the peer support group in some form – it makes such a difference to the older people who attend and they do not want to see the group stop if at all possible. Adfam are asking if anyone would be interested in taking on the group in some way? There are approximately 10-15 older carers who attend the group regularly, usually with 6-8 attending any one session, and a further 20 who are on the mailing list. It meets monthly and all they would need is a room once a month and someone to organise the administrative side and facilitate the group. Families and carers affected by drug and alcohol use are an often marginalized group, so taking on this extant group could therefore help you meet any targets of supporting marginalized carers and older people. Contact Oliver Standing  at to find out more and perhaps see if you could get involved. Click here to see further details on Adfam’s website.


  • Request for help from the lead the Universal Credit (UC) Claimant Orientation team within the Universal Credit Programme. Our strategic objectives include:-

Increase the effectiveness of the claimant journey (new and prospective) to ensure they:

  • Have the information they need to transition smoothly onto UC and to understand the support available to them, and
  • Understand and are able to meet their responsibilities in moving towards work and progressing in work;

Overlay behavioural requirements with claimant insight to enhance the impact of interactions with UC to positively influence behaviour change;

Develop a holistic view of claimant interactions throughout the UC journey (internally & externally) to gauge how best to support claimants and influence behaviour where required; and

  • Provide a single view of the orientation landscape, commissioning activity to test messages, channels and approaches.


Over the last 18 months my team have completed two large scale claimant insight exercises aimed at improving UC claimant information, orientation and awareness of the support available. Our findings from circa 600 face to face interviews nationally, highlighted two key orientation needs

1)       The need for a simple information product that answers questions about the most commonly misunderstood elements/subjects of UC; and

2)       The need to improve support for people (who approach external groups, partners & organisations and Other Government Departments) who have complex needs, who may be excluded (digitally and/or financially) and/or who may be vulnerable before they have applied for UC wherever they surface.


In March this year we launched a new UC information product which responded directly to the first orientation need we had identified; we called this ‘Universal Credit and You’ and I have attached this, in the link below, for your perusal. This is now available to all UC claimants at the point of application and has also been posted onto GOV.UK.


My ‘Ask’

It’s the second key orientation need I seek your help with please i.e. improve support for people (who approach external groups, partners & organisations and Other Government Departments) who have complex needs, who may be excluded (digitally and/or financially) and/or who may be vulnerable before they have applied for UC wherever they surface.


I would be happy to speak with you to understand what UC information and support your teams need in order that they can orientate, to UC, a person/family that has approached you for help? If you are interested in helping me could you contact me at please?


Questions I would like to debate/investigate include: How, together, we could identify improved support and or information for prospective UC claimants? When do the pinch points occur and how best can be aim to pre-empt these? How best could we signpost people to UC? What products could be developed and tested to respond to the needs of your team/s and that of the claimant? What channels and approaches could best serve your team/s and claimants?


For your information


  • Making sure the UK’s growing older population does not go hungry. Food Train is an award-winning charity and social enterprise providing services to help older people remain independent at home, including; practical home support, befriending, library outreach, neighbourhood meal sharing and our key service – grocery shopping delivery. Set up over 20 years ago and operating across Scotland, Food Train has over 1000 volunteers, supporting over 2700 older people, and are exploring options for expanding services into England and Wales. Click here to find out more.  If you work for or with older people we would love to talk to you about the possibility of delivering our services in your area. Please contact us at or ring 07712 675768.


  • The latest update from the SAFER Project at West Yorkshire Trading Standards is available now, with some tips on how to stay safe and avoid scams. Click here to see their update.


  • Deal Library have launched a pilot programme in January 2017 to offer 121 help for people with dementia, stroke, learning disabilities or visual impairment and their carers to facilitate improved access to stock and libraries services. They are calling it ‘slow browsing’ and it’s along lines of the project in Gosport for supermarket shoppers. Initially they are trialling two sessions a month held on the 1st Friday between 10-12 and the 3rd Sunday 10-12 for a six month period. Click here to find out more and get in touch with them.


  • Ageing Nepal have published their June 2017 Issue of Voice of Senior Citizens for your information, use and sharing. They have also published the Year Book of Senior Citizens 2017 that was released to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2017. The book contains information/data on everything done by and for older people of Nepal in 2016. Click on the links above to see these publications.

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