Scheme to put spring in step of older people in line for UK award

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A ground-breaking project to put a spring in the step of older people is in the running for a major UK award.

The Passion for Life scheme run by housing association Cartrefi Conwy is a finalist in the Erosh Innovation and Good Practice Awards run by a consortium of older people’s housing and support providers.

The awards will be presented by Dame Esther Rantzen at a glittering celebration event at Mercers’ Hall in London on March 23.

Cartrefi Conwy are among eight finalists and the four winners will be awarded £1,000 each to spend how they see fit.

The scheme enables older people, including tenants from other housing associations to take control and identify small steps to improve their health and wellbeing.

They take part in a series of monthly sessions which include guest speakers, interactive fun activities and the opportunity to develop a new circle of friends.

The scheme is being run by Cartrefi Conwy’s Older Person’s Engagement Co-ordinator, Nerys Veldhuizen.

Nerys said: “We were thrilled to hear that the Passion for Life project had been chosen as a finalist in this prestigious national competition and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed on the day.

“We started the sessions earlier last year and I’m delighted with the feedback from the participants, they are clearly gaining a great deal from them.

“The sessions are centred on the main themes of movement, social networks, health and wellbeing and safety in the home. And we are also trying to encourage social inter-action and engagement which can help reduce social isolation.

“It’s vital older tenants don’t allow their age, or anything else, get in the way of improving their independence and quality of life. We want to encourage change and help tenants improve, and in some cases change, their social circle while improving their health and wellbeing.

“The guest speakers we have brought in have been particularly well received. We have included, among others, a police community safety officer, members of the Red Cross, who have given advice on first aid and accident prevention and a fire safety officer who is currently seconded to Cartrefi Conwy.

“All have given advice and support to tenants and encouraged them to make simple changes that could help prevent accidents, fires and make them become more security conscious.

“But the sessions, which are tailored to the needs and desires of each particular group, are also about making friends and enjoying their company.”

Rebecca Mollart, Chief Executive of erosh and a member of the judging panel, added: “This year we were again impressed with the entries highlighting the positive and innovative ways our members are responding to the impact of funding cuts.

“As usual it was a difficult task to select the finalists from a quality field but these in particular ‘stand out from the crowd’ in some way; reach beyond schemes to older people in the wider community and are continuing in the longer term and/or being rolled out elsewhere.”

 

For more information about The Passion for Life Programme contact Nerys Veldhuizen on 0300 124 0040 or by email: nerys.veldhuizen@cartreficonwy.org