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two women in a community cooking class

The Road to Recovery: Lessons from community organisations’ role supporting older people through the pandemic

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In this webinar we explored how ‘Neighbourhood Networks’ in Leeds and Birmingham are responding to COVID-19, and the role of community organisations in supporting people in later life to remain connected to others and involved in our communities.

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The Road to Recovery: Lessons from community organisations’ role supporting older people through the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on everyone and meant many people aged over 70 or with underlying health conditions have had to stay at home, shielding and social distancing. This has left many people isolated and cut off from social contact, services and support – particularly for the digitally excluded and those without friends, family and friendly neighbours. However, at the same time as restricting many older people’s valuable contributions, we have seen citizens responding to the challenges with huge numbers of volunteers coming forward to help in their communities. 

In this webinar we explored how civil society led Neighbourhood Networks in Leeds and Birmingham have responded; what opportunities and challenges they have faced; and consider how they will move forward in the ‘new normal’ context of COVID-19. Leeds Neighbourhood Networks have developed over the last thirty years with core funding from Leeds City Council, while Birmingham Neighbourhood Networks were established just two years ago, with funding through the Better Care Fund.

In this webinar, part of our ‘Road to Recovery’ series exploring learning from COVID-19, our panel considered the importance of community organisations to making and maintaining social connections, support and opportunities to participate in our communities as we age.

  • Chair: Claire Turner, Director of Evidence, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Melanie Henwood, Independent Research Consultant, Melanie Henwood Associates
  • Chris Dayson, Reader, Centre for Regional and Economic Research, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Ali Kaye, Third Sector Development Manager, Leeds Older People’s Forum
  • Benita Wishart, Support and Development Manager Prevention First, BVSC 
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All our events are recorded and are available to watch on our YouTube channel.

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Join the conversation: #RoadToRecovery