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May 11, 2023

Carry on learning, with me and my new team

Profile image for Jessica Duffy

Good Practice Mentor

Spring has sprung, possibly (although I’m still wearing a woolly hat outdoors). I’m certainly in a very happy mood myself and about to spring into a new role.

It’s a bit like the old role. It’s all about sharing the learning from the Ageing Better Time to Shine programme here in Leeds, but now I am part of a new national team that has come together to share best practice. 

That means that I can carry on sharing learning with any of you who have been here with us for the long haul, as well as being able to reach out to new people and organisations.  With philanthropic funding which doesn’t attach the Good Practice Mentor team to a single country we can even get out and about sharing information and supporting organisations across the UK, though I can’t imagine anyone is going to pay for me to go to Inverness any time soon! (I’d be happy to go, and there are excellent trains from Leeds. Just ask me.)

The team is made up of Good Practice Mentors from the Ageing Better programme:

  • Jo Stapleton (Age UK Camden) whose speciality is reaching out to those who might not usually be included
  • Simon Sherbesky (Torbay Community Development Trust) who knows lots about social prescribing and has learning from their work during covid on how effective ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) models were
  • Vicky O’Donoghue and Jennie Shrewsbury (South Yorkshire Housing Association) who will be supporting organisations who want to move towards Co-Production in their work.

Then there’s me. I’ll be doing what I usually do: offering easy to absorb nuggets of learning through webinars, blogs and direct conversations, about good face-to-face interactions which will help you to reduce loneliness and social isolation of older people. I’m also going to be able to mentor small organisations who might want a listening ear and some guidance as they get established and start working to reduce loneliness.

We are hoping to be able to work at all levels. We want to talk to national organisations, local commissioners and local authority departments about what they do, as well as supporting the staff who are working with older people to make changes for themselves. We’ll come up with some more formal publicity soon, but if you want to know how we could help your organisation, or think you have a colleague who needs to know more just now, please pass my contact details on, or get in touch and I’ll link you up.

I’m very much still part of the LOPF team here in Leeds, supporting the Enhance programme, helping to share the learning about how it  works when the third sector reconnects people with their lives when they return from a spell in hospital, and hoping to be able to share third sector knowledge with NHS colleagues.

Book here to join some of our first learning sessions in Loneliness Awareness Week 12-18 June.

Jessica Duffy
Good Practice Mentor