Our Silver Linings two year programme in Hackney was devised by Groundwork London to find ways for older people to socialise whilst lending a hand in Hackney.
By giving small slices of time, participating at one of four local Silver Linings clubs or through our introductions to more formal local charity volunteering programmes, Silver Linings participants have benefited from regular social interaction, and received rewards from the Silver Linings incentive scheme for their contribution to the local community.
Over the past two years, Silver Liners have established four Silver Lining clubs, helping to run the Craft for a Cause club at the Ben Simons Hall, Get Fit While you Sit at Trowbridge Pensioners Hall, Mosaic Makeover Club at Fellows Court Community Centre and Cook’n’Share clubs at Groundwork London’s office and Free Range Garden on Lower Clapton Road.
The focus for the clubs was to reduce social isolation for older people in the borough by providing safe spaces for them to volunteer and socialise. The clubs were also empowering as Silver Liners were encouraged to facilitate the clubs themselves and make key decisions.
During the final year Silver Liners also shared their skills to benefit other older people in Hackney to include;
- Baking cakes and running fortnightly reminiscence Tea and Talk at St Joseph’s Hospice Day centre
- Facilitating monthly Get Fit While You Sit sessions at St Joseph’s Hospice, and creating their own ‘Get Fit While You Sit Kit’. You can download copy of the kit here
- Creating festive wreaths and growing herbs for pop up stalls in Hackney
- Crafting 150 items to keep people warm, including draught excluders, hot water bottle covers, blankets, scarves and hats that have been donated at a Tea party hosted by the Silver Liners held at the Geffrye Museum to isolated older people from Hackney Volunteering & Befriending Service
- A mosaic to refresh and rejuvenate the entrance to Fellows Court Community Centre
Silver Liner Hannah said ‘I’ve loved coming here and I’ve loved doing all the activities. Every one of them has been so interesting, when I think back over all of them that we’ve done over the past two years. And the effort that Clare and her team have put in has been amazing.’
Joan said ‘Well the people, the people that come. They’re all nice. Everyone is nice to one another, it’s a lovely time. And if you are sitting indoors on your own and you know that you have that to look forward to it’s comforting.’
Elaine said 'We all feel like we are contributing. It's wonderful. You work so hard and we all benefit.'
As recognition of all their hard work Silver Linings was shortlisted for the Mayer of London's Team London Awards in the Community Action category. The Silver Linings Clubs have been running since March 2016 and nearly 3,000 volunteer hours have been invested into the projects. Each Silver Liner will have helped to support three older people each, in Hackney, totalling 280 people that have benefitted from the Silver Liners hard work.
In 2018 the popular Cook'n'share Club will return on a short-term basis thanks to funding from the Morrisons Foundation. If you live in Hackney, are over 50 and would like to get involved with the Silver linings Cook'n'Share Club please contact Clare on 020 8510 5403