New Horizons

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The issues addressed are: build social networks and opportunities for participation; suitable and varied housing and housing support; timely adaptations including housing adaptations; co-production; and reablement & rehabilitation. The New Horizons project for older people aims to reduce isolation, improve mental health and wellbeing, and maintain independence within the home

What you did?

Age Concern Glenrothes’ New Horizons project reached out to a wheelchair bound, elderly lady to reduce her isolation and increase her mental and physical wellbeing. The one-off, volunteer-supported, raised-bed building event made it possible for the client to resume a much valued and much missed gardening hobby.  Conversations with those volunteers linked the client to a wheelchair friendly gardening project in which her regular participation is highly valued. Through her new social contacts and confidence, she is now actively contributing to her community by joining a knitting group with its own coffee morning, in aid of PDSA.

The New Horizons project, The Fife Conservation Group, volunteers, and the client co-produced the outcome of a raised flowerbed – improving this lady’s home environment and adapting it to meet her needs.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

This elderly lady, once isolated due to family living far off in London and her husband’s failing health, has built a highly successful social network from this support. This enhanced social network has allowed her to regularly attend a wheelchair friendly gardening project and knitting group where she is welcomed and valued. These straightforward activities have resulted in: an improved ability to maintain independent living; reduced isolation; increased mental health & wellbeing; increased community capacity; increased social capital; increased resilience; and improved her opportunities for participation in the community. She has successfully increased her participation in community activities, providing valuable knowledge and skills to the garden project, and contributing to the third sector by raising funds for PDSA. The raised flowerbed has improved her ability to live more happily in her own home and maintain her independence for longer. In her own words “New Horizons helped me have some independence back. I’m very busy now, and having the raised bed has helped me enjoy my garden again.”

Contacts - to find out more

Sandie Gibson, Age Concern Glenrothes, 01592 756316