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Health for all, Changing Lives, Transforming communities

BME Elders Network


Supporting South Asian communities of Leeds

New members are warmly welcomed into Elders’ Networks for activities which are fun, sociable, culturally-appropriate and sensitive to the needs of older people. The programme of activities is designed by older people and is supported by bilingual staff and volunteers.

 For the past twelve years, Health for All has been supporting the South Asian communities of Leeds by providing groups and activities tailored to the group’s particular needs. Time to Shine has helped to sustain and strengthen this already robust programme by employing a Project Coordinator and recruiting a new group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. 

So far the project has supported over 200 BME Elders through supporting 8 weekly groups across the city. The coordinator has worked with over 130 isolated housebound BME elders through homevisits, telephone support and 1:1 outings.  The BME Seniors Network has supported groups with training for volunteers on First Aid, Food & Hygiene, Health and Safety and other health awareness sessions. They have also organised English classes as well as provided direct befriending services. The small groups  have also been supported to apply for further funding to run their activities so that it can continue long beyond its Time to Shine lifespan. 

Health for All understands that not only is it necessary to provide the right programming, but it can also be necessary to provide one-to-one support for people to take advantage of that programming. Their aim is to reduce isolation in South Asian elders who are not accessing any local services, who may be either living alone or with family. Staff and volunteers are providing home visits, befriending calls, buddy service to take them to community groups, motivational  talks to encourage them to join in different activities such as Bollywood movies, yoga classes and  luncheon clubs.

Over time these isolated BME elders will get involved in activities, coming out of their homes to talk to different peer people and make new friendships. They will be more connected, mobile, active and healthy. 

The project has recently secured funding from different funders including Big Lottery, luncheon club and Wade's Charity for different groups.