£310,551 for Age UK Doncaster

We are delighted to have raised £310,551 for Age UK Doncaster from The National Lottery Community Fund's Reaching Communities programme.

In 2016, we raised £499,816 for Age UK Doncaster from the Reaching Communities programme to help launch their “Circles for Independence in Later Life” project. The project involved setting up community "circles" of support for older people at high risk of hospitalisation to encourage social engagement, increased independence and resilience.

In 2020, we produced an external evaluation to understand the key impacts of the project. We learnt older people being supported by the project were far more isolated than expected - almost every one had no one to talk to. They also wanted more flexible support to achieve their goals, with some benefitting more from one-to-one relationships whilst others preferred group support.

Throughout our evaluation, older people and volunteers often referred to the project as their "Family". We used this and our other learning to develop Age UK Doncaster's ‘Family of Support’ concept.

Over three years, Age UK Doncaster will set-up at least 10 "Families" in communities across the Doncaster borough. Each "Family" will consist of 3-6 trained, community-based volunteers who will work alongside 6-12 isolated older people who are at risk of losing their independence, to help them achieve their individually set goals. The exact support each older person receives will be individually tailored, combining one-to-one support and regular group activities which bring volunteers and older people together to build long-term, supportive social connections.

We are really excited to see how these "Families" will develop over the next three years. We are delighted that Age UK Doncaster has asked us to support them with the project's evaluation, including an external report.