The first lockdown in March 2020 created a challenge for organisations that deliver activities and support for older people. Their clients were vulnerable, not only to the virus but also to isolation and loneliness. Some also had limited access to internet. Statutory support services were not able to deliver the support as before, and charities and voluntary organisations saw a need to continue services, while navigating changing risk assessments and ongoing uncertainty.
We spoke to eight organisations about how they adjusted their service provision to ensure they could continue to support their clients.
These are the key learning from our interviews with activity providers.
- Communicate with your staff and support them, so they can continue to support your clients.
- Communicate with your clients and listen to them.
- Engage with volunteers, even if volunteering isn’t possible during lockdowns.
2. Plan new ways to deliver your activities
- Talk to your clients to find out what support they need in the new situation.
- Network and collaborate with other organisations.
3. Just do… something!
- Start with delivering something, to ensure your clients have ongoing support.
- Try new things – including delivering activities online. But remember that not everyone will have online access, so consider other approaches too.
4. Apply for funding to support your work
- There is funding available to support adaptations and to continue service provision in these changing circumstances.
You can download our key learning factsheet here:
The case studies will be published in our blog during winter 2021. You can read them here:
Take part in this study
We also want to hear from other activity providers about your experiences of delivering activities to older people during the COVID-19 restrictions.
If you work or volunteer with an organisation that delivers activities to older people, you can fill our short survey here (it only takes a few minutes to fill in).