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Leeds Older People’s Forum
Kids biking around

Time to Shine

Our flagship programme for tackling loneliness and social isolation in Leeds began in April 2015 and ran until March 2022. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, 86 third sector partners were involved in delivering a wide-ranging plan filled with exciting campaigns, events and initiatives, made up of 131 projects.

About this project

Using a ‘test and learn’ approach, the Time to Shine programme aimed to find out how we can reduce loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in Leeds. We encouraged all our delivery partners to try new things and question whether they work or not, with the ultimate goal of using our collective findings to improve things for older people and help them feel much more connected.

Our key learning can be grouped as follows –

  • Co-production. Authentic and genuine co-production results in effective and successful projects and activities.
  • Strong and equal partnerships. Strong and equal partnerships create great outcomes for all.
  • Flexible projects. One size doesn’t fit all. Projects need to be flexible in their design and approach.
  • Person-centred. Recognises that everyone has something to offer and understands that seldom heard groups may need additional support.
  • Trusted relationships. Projects which successfully achieved their outcomes developed trusting relationships between staff, volunteers and participants.
  • Friendship. Successful projects encouraged and fostered true friendship outside of the initial activity. 
  • Digital technology. Many organisations used digital technology to help older people stay connected, active, and engaged.
  • Covid-19 crisis. Identifying the challenges of the crisis, and capturing the opportunities for learning.

The Time to Shine programme, which ended in March 2022, encompassed over 100 indivudual projects and campaigns – click the button below to find out more.