Pic: Hweiling Ow
A new grant scheme is set to benefit older people in Lichfield and Burntwood. The scheme is being launched by Staffordshire County Council today (October 1) to coincide with UK Older People’s Day. Through the Health for Older People grants scheme, community and voluntary organisations are being invited to submit bids to deliver community-based programmes which aim to improve the lives of people aged 50 and over, living within the county. By demonstrating that there is a focus on prevention, wellbeing, health improvement and maintaining the independence of older people, small community groups can apply for grants of £500 to support them in their work.  Larger voluntary organisations have the opportunity to apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000. County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing will be officially launching the scheme.  He said:
“This scheme provides a great opportunity for the voluntary and community sector to develop the work they do in local communities with older people.  Working with and supporting these organisations will mean that there will be a wider range of wellbeing services accessible locally, supporting older and vulnerable people in the community and enabling them to live their lives the way they choose.” 
Some of the areas where applications can focus include:
  •  Helping older people to stay in their home
  • Reducing falls and trips
  • Increasing volunteering opportunities
  • Improving and increasing community transport
  • Increasing user-led involvement and participation
  • Reducing poverty/fuel poverty and maximising financial inclusion
  • Increasing provision and access to equipment and adaptations
  • Reducing the number of older people from being admitted into hospital
Cllr Elllis added:
“There are already many resources out there supporting older people. We want to encourage groups to think about how they can best use these grants to extend their work or perhaps develop new projects.  Focusing on an area such as improving community transport for example, can increase access to local facilities and social activities allowing people to feel less isolated and more part of their community. “Other examples such as healthy luncheon clubs, befriending schemes and exercise classes specifically for older people are also helping to accomplish the aims of this scheme.  By providing a range of activities throughout the county we are moving the social care and health agenda forward by focusing on prevention and wellbeing in the community.  In Staffordshire, the population aged over 65 is set to rise by 17 per cent in five years time and we need to be planning for this now.  I encourage as many groups as possible to apply.”
The closing date for applications is January 4, 2010, and a guidance and application pack has been developed to support groups in their applications.  Joint applications are also welcomed. For more information about the Health for Older People grants scheme or to request an application pack, contact Shelley Davis, Health Development Team at Staffordshire County Council.  Telephone 01785 288279 or 07815 826811 or e-mail shelley.davis@staffordshire.gov.uk. More information can also be found by visiting www.staffordshire.gov.uk/health/healthdevelopment/.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.