Big Lottery Funding For An Older Folks Outreach Project

Posted on: January 16th, 2017

WORDS ALIVE Writing Group Receives Funding

WORDS ALIVE writing group for older people based in Donegall Pass community centre, have successfully received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to develop their outreach project. Their project was formed to bring stories, poems, a bit of stimulation and craic, to older folk who may be isolated, under-appreciated, or simply interested in listening and reminiscing.

Now, with the financial support of the Big Lottery Fund, Words Alive hope to have a more enduring impact. They will be able to produce an anthology of their writings to leave behind after their visits. Both individuals and carers will be able to draw on different sections of the book as a prompt to writing and reminiscing about their lives.
It was in 2013 the group responded to a request made through Engage With Age to visit some groups of people in residential homes, day centres and sheltered housing, particularly to connect with the elderly and isolated in the community.

The Words Alive Outreach project began by visiting Edgecumbe Day Centre where a wide range of individuals attend, including those living with dementia. Our visit met with a great response. Everywhere we went after that we were asked to come back soon. We realised that we were addressing an endemic lack of stimulus for older people in a variety of circumstances.
We have now visited more than 20 different venues and we have gained confidence and an understanding of what works. We would like to build on this small success by benefiting as many elderly people as we can reach. And now, thanks to the Big Lottery’s support, we will be able to produce an anthology specifically geared to our outreach work.

Chairperson of Words Alive, John Galbraith said “We very much hope that other groups will follow our example as we have found a real hunger out there for communication that is simply not being met. It would be great if our visits and book could create a ripple across the lives of many elderly people in Greater Belfast and beyond.”

WORDS ALIVE Writing Group Receives Funding


Kate Glackin: 02890799197
John Galbraith:

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Engage with Age can accept referrals of individual older people aged 50+ who are at risk of loneliness and social isolation, inviting them to participate in group activities. Engage with Age offers one-to-one telephone befriending support for individual older people but does not currently provide in person visits to individual older people. To make a referral please complete the on-line Referral Form and submit or alternatively please print off a copy of the PDF Referral Form and send it to us. See also the Referral Criteria for details of who can be referred.

Referral Form Referral Criteria