Welcome to the latest Connect Hackney newsletter. Last quarter we asked you tell us the issues you were most interested in, and you told us you were interested in our learning on outreach and how to engage new service users.
We’ve put together a list of tips for voluntary sector organisations who want to reach new groups of older people (as well as messages for funders and commissioners of outreach services) which is available on our website.
Our learning on outreach comes from the 25 Hackney based projects we currently fund, however our sister Ageing Better programme in Camden have published a brilliant report on different techniques to use in street outreach which is also available here. The Ageing Better partnership has also produced a report specifically on engaging men which is linked here.
Key messages on outreach
Some of our key messages on outreach are:
Outreach is a specialist skill – staff who are excellent at working with older people may still need support and training to develop outreach skills
When recruiting staff for roles that include outreach consider hiring people with experience in sales or other public facing roles
Be clear about who it is you want to reach and be realistic about how much time it may take to find and engage them
To reach isolated people you need to go beyond the voluntary sector – go to cafes, shops etc and engage in conversation with people informally
Funders and commissioners should recognise the benefits but also the cost of reaching and engaging new people
Funders and commissioners should be clear if they want projects to reach new groups of older people and should allow for an increase in the cost per head for those projects.
Connect Hackney will hold a learning event on 2 April. We are working with older people and charities and community groups from across Hackney to host an event for them to share what they know about reducing isolation with funders, commissioners and policymakers from Hackney and beyond.
We will be holding panels and inviting discussion on some of our key learning themes. More information to follow later in the month, but for now please save the date in your diaries!
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