PHOTO CAPTION 1 (Group Shot) Back Row (L-R): Kay Slater (Lite Bites Lunch Club), David Pane (Sparkle Café), David Foulds (Engaged Motivated Informed), T K Al-Jorani (CommUnity Kitchen), Dave Durnall (Fabweld 50+), Matthew Latham (Read and Connect), Tina Upton (Blacon on the Move), Duncan Setterington (Sporting Memories), Jon Hutchinson (Growing Connections). Front Row (L-R): Debi Whittaker (Bridging the Gap), Howell Lloyd (Vision Supported Communities), Sam Salisbury (Create for Nature), Lynne Turnbull (CCIL). CAPTION 2 Kay Slater (Lite Bites Lunch Club) Ellemere Port Project Nearly a quarter of a million pounds has been awarded to local projects that improve the lives of older people in Cheshire West and Chester, with the winners announced this week. An intergenerational welding project, a minority ethnic cooking club and a mentoring scheme connecting older ladies with young mums are just three of the local projects that are set to become a reality thanks to Brightlife’s new ‘Bright Ideas’ fund. The fund, designed for community groups and organisations that have an idea for a project that can bring over-50s together and reduce loneliness, will support thirteen local projects with up to £20,000 each, along with business support and training from Brightlife. Head of Brightlife, Chris McClelland, says: “We have been impressed with the number and quality of the applications to our Bright Ideas Fund. The difficulty we had in choosing the winning projects is testament to the fantastic level of innovation that is present in our local communities when it comes to designing new ways to improve the lives of over-50s.” Winner spotlight: Kay Slater from Flatt Lane and Stanney Grange Community Centres Bright Ideas Award winner Kay has received funding to expand a volunteer-run lunch club for older people in one of Cheshire West’s most deprived areas. Over the last year, Kay has spent much of her own time and money setting up the Lite Bites lunch club at the Flatt Lane and Stanney Grange Community Centres in Ellesmere Port. Keen to expand her club and reach more people, she applied to the Bright Ideas Fund for support, and has successfully secured over £10,000 as a result. “As an older person myself, I know how hard it can be to feel isolated and trapped in your own home,” explains Kay. “I set the Lite Bites Club up (with a fantastic volunteer called Emily) to help a few people in my area to feel less lonely, but the demand has soared and we really needed some support to be able to help more people. With this funding from Brightlife we will be able to reach another 40 older people this year, which is fantastic.” Full list of Bright Ideas award winners Vision Supported Communities (Vision Support) – a dedicated support worker to provide advice and support to reduce isolation amongst older adults with sight loss in CWAC. Cheshire West and CHESTER Sporting Memories (Active Cheshire) – a social group providing reminiscence and light physical activity for older sports fans. Cheshire West and CHESTER Bridging the Gap (LIVE!) – an inter-generational project bringing socially isolated older people and disabled young people together to share skills and experiences. CHESTER CommUnity Kitchen (CHAWREC) – a cooking club for older people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Japanese, Bangladeshi, Hungarian, and Indian. CHESTER Fabweld 50+ (The Welding Academy) – a mentoring scheme allowing retired engineers to help young welding apprentices, along with free welding and construction courses and workshops for any older people with an interest in construction. CHESTER Blacon on the Move (Holy Trinity Church) – an accessible minibus service providing transport for local older people to attend social activities. BLACON Lite Bites Lunch Club (Flatt Lane Community Centre) – expansion of a community-run, volunteer-led lunch club in one of Cheshire West’s most deprived areas. Ellesmere Port Engaged Motivated Informed (MHA Ellesmere Port/Neston Live at Home Scheme) – an activity programme for older people who have recently retired or been made redundant. Ellesmere Port Sparkle Café (Cheshire Deaf Society/Deafness Support Network) – a monthly club for older people in Northwich who are experiencing hearing loss. Northwich Growing Connections (Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside) – a gardening project for older people living in assisted housing. Northwich Create For Nature (Cheshire Wildlife Trust) – a hands-on scheme to allow older people to create attractive furniture from recycled timber to sell on to the public. Malpas Bright Stars (Motherwell Cheshire CIO) – a mentoring project connecting older ladies with young mums who have mental health and/or family breakdown issues. Winsford Read and Connect (The Neuromuscular Centre/Cheshire Centre for Independent Living/Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust) – a book club especially designed for over-50s with a long term disabling condition and their carers. Winsford For more information on all of these projects, visit Notes to Editors: • Brightlife is a partnership led by Age UK Cheshire (Registered Charity Number 1091608). It has been awarded £5m as part of the Big Lottery’s Fulfilling Lives, Ageing Better fund, which has given a total of £82m to 15 areas throughout England in order to improve the lives of up to 200,000 older people. • The Brightlife partnership includes: Age UK Cheshire, Older People’s Network, Cheshire West and Chester Council, West Cheshire CCG, Vale Royal CCG, Cheshire and Warrington Social Enterprise Partnership, Chester Voluntary Action, Deafness Support Network, Rural Community Services, Sanctuary Housing and West Cheshire Inter Faith Forum. • Over the next five years, Brightlife aims to work closely with older people to identify, design and implement a wide range of innovative solutions to address loneliness and isolation across Cheshire West and Chester. • Nationally, over 1 million older people say they are always or often feel lonely, and two-fifths say the television is their main form of company. With the numbers of older people aged 65 or over in the UK predicted to rise by nearly 50% in the next 20 years, loneliness is an urgent problem. Contact: For more information, contact Cath Logan, Marketing and Communications Manager at Brightlife, on 01606 884445 / 07736 168352 or