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July 12, 2021

International Day of Older People 2021 – Linking lives

International Day of Older People (IDOP), 1 October, is celebrated annually in Leeds, focusing on a different theme each year. This year’s theme is Linking Lives: a time to reconnect and celebrate the strength of diverse communities.

  • Community event grants: grants of up to £250 are available to help organisations and groups to run activities to celebrate IDOP.
  • Timescale: we are asking that activities take place in September 2021
  • Deadline for submissions: 5.00pm, Monday 16 August 2021

We hope IDOP 2021 will bring people and communities together – literally and/or figuratively – raise awareness and celebrate the strength of the diversity of older people and communities across Leeds. We are confident that it will support the ambition for Leeds to be the Best City to Grow Old In.

Communities carry the stories, teachings and experiences of their elders: inherited memories of what happened to people over many generations. The last year will be another chapter in the storytelling for many older people and diverse communities in our city. Everyone will have had a different experience and a different journey. We recognise that the support and activities which may best help people re-emerge and reconnect will vary enormously and we look to the individuals and organisations who are supporting older people and communities to give us your ideas and proposals for the most appropriate events and activities.

Community event grants

Grants are available of up to £250 to help run these events.

We encourage groups and organisations to come up with their own interesting, creative ways to celebrate IDOP in Leeds, on the theme of Linking Lives: a time to reconnect and celebrate the strength of diverse communities. Here are a few examples:

  • Providing opportunities for older people to tell their stories, which may include ones of ancestry and heritage, through art, dance, poetry, food or other forms of expression.
  • Activities that respect the different pace and comfort of interaction some people may be experiencing, such as an afternoon tea with an option for people to have a home delivery
  • A walk celebrating art, culture and heritage
  • Opportunities to share memories and stories
  • Activities and expressions which are recorded and continue to be shared widely with members and publicly, to celebrate diverse older people and their communities. (Appropriate consents must be obtained.)


Any event you wish to hold must be in line with the latest government advice on Covid-19.

Event dates

We are asking that IDOP 2021 activities are held during September, for the following reasons:

  • The activities will lead up to Celebrating IDOP on 1 October 2021
  • The weather may be more conducive to outside activities, which is safer in terms of Covid transmission
  • This should be ahead of any flu season concerns
  • You have the opportunity to link your activity in with the Age Proud Festival which is being held 6th-17th September 2021

What can you apply for?

Organisations can apply for up to £250.

Unfortunately we have a limited budget and we will probably be unable to fund all applications. If an unsuccessful application is felt to be suitable we may be able to forward it to one of the Area Community Committees for consideration. We will contact you before doing this.

Who can attend?

The audience can be the public, people who use your service users, staff, or volunteers. We would encourage the community events to be open to all.

What can we fund?

Ideally the application should be for a new idea or opportunity that ties in with the theme of Linking lives: a time to reconnect and celebrate the strength of diverse communities.

The event should also reflect the IDOP ethos:

  • To promote and celebrate the contribution of older people* to the city
  • To highlight the barriers which still exist to older people’s full participation

* By older we typically mean people aged 60+ (younger for communities with a lower life expectancy).

Funding can include:

  • facilitators, artists
  • room hire
  • equipment (used as part of the event)
  • refreshments
  • transport to attend an event or activity or to deliver resources to people’s homes
  • accessibility requirements, such as virtual or online events for people with sight and hearing loss.

What won’t we fund?

  • We won’t fund activities that you normally run, or work you currently receive funding or money towards.
  • We won’t fund commercial organisations/companies
  • We won’t fund fund political events/organisations

Who can apply?

  • Voluntary and statutory sector organisations
  • Neighbourhood Network Schemes
  • Theatres and theatre groups
  • Faith groups (we can’t fund anything promoting a particular religion/faith)
  • Art groups/organisations
  • Community groups
  • Care homes (private and local authority)
  • Day centres
  • Lunch clubs
  • Libraries
  • Museums and art galleries

We are keen to fund a range of different events and welcome applications from all communities of the city, including those focusing on intergenerational work or specific issues affecting older people, such as living with dementia.

We particularly welcome applications from small and medium sized groups and organisations.

We encourage organisations to apply who want to expand their services and activities to include older people.

Further information

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply please contact Zoe Ricketts (Leeds Older People’s Forum):

(0113) 244 1697 or email:


  • Deadline for submissions – 5.00pm, Monday 16 August 2021
  • Applicants will be informed as to whether they have been successful by 5.00pm, Friday 20 August 2021
  • Successful applicants must supply details of their event, for publicity purposes, no later than 30 August 2021. (LOPF produces a Calendar of Events to promote IDOP Leeds)

How can you apply?

We kindly ask people to apply by an online form:
Please click here to apply online

If this is not possible, and you are unable to submit or get support to submit in this format, please call Leeds Older People’s Forum on 0113 244 1697 to ask for a paper copy to be posted to you.

You can also get help with digital support at Digital Inclusion Leeds

Will you need to do anything else?

  • Organisations who receive a grant will need to complete an application form after running the activity.
  • We would like your support in promoting IDOP through any social media, or other channels, that you use
  • We would very much welcome any positive images, relevant to your event, which we could use to promote IDOP.

Zoe Ricketts
Development Officer, Leeds Older People’s Forum