Case Study: Bristol Older People's Funding Alliance
St Monica Trust is proudly part of the Bristol Older People's Funding Alliance (BOPFA), a group of grant funders who work together to meet the priority needs of older people in Bristol. Chaired by Roger Opie, the other Alliance members include Anchor Society, the Dolphin Society, the Grateful Society, John James Bristol Foundation, the Quartet Community Foundation, and the Society of Merchant Venturers.
BOPFA creates more funding opportunities within the community and aims to help organisations become sustainable, improve existing services or develop innovations that will have a positive effect on the quality of life for older people.
St Monica Trust has been involved in several awards through the Bristol Older People's Funding Alliance, including for the Bristol Somali Resource Centre, Alive, and the Southmead Development Trust
In May 2023, St Monica Trust, alongside The Dolphin Society and the Grateful Society, each awarded Bristol Somali Resource Centre £8,000 to jointly fund their Community Elders’ Activities Programme for one year. This will be the third year that we have supported the Bristol Somali Resource Centre alongside our BOPFA partners.
With the funding, Bristol Somali Resource Centre (BSRC) run activities for community elders in a community setting. This includes coffee mornings, visiting green spaces, information & advice sessions, mental health & well-being sessions, and social events to enhance social connections for lonely elders. In addition, they promote a healthy diet and provide emotional well-being and gentle physical exercise.
The centre invites professionals to provide helpful information to the groups, including specialist health professionals for diabetics, arthritis, and incontinence management. BSRC also offer benefit entitlement checks and helps individuals apply for the relevant benefits and schemes.
BSRC noted that most of the older people they work with feel lonely and socially isolated and reported to us that the funding has enabled them to “offer community elders services that fit better with their ethnic, cultural, and religious values and preferences.”
St Monica Trust is jointly funding Alive’s BME Elders Health and Well-being Project, along with Quartet, The Anchor Society, the Grateful Society, and the John James Bristol Foundation. The group have awarded a total of £48,911 with St Monica Trust contributing £10,061 to the cause.
This funding will enable the project to continue for another year and will mean the three valued groups of The Malcolm X Elders, The Evergreen Club, and the Golden Agers Club can keep running. The groups support a total of 130 older people from BME communities with vital social support, activities, and help accessing services.
The groups provide a wide range of activities, including exercise to music, Tai Chi, singing, sewing, drama, arts and crafts, and trips out throughout the year. They were set up to tackle isolation and loneliness among the elders and bring people together to form friendships and have fun.
We can't thank you enough. These groups are essential and a lifeline to many of those who attend.
Along with the John James Bristol Foundation, Grateful Society, and The Anchor Society, we have provided a combined grant of £35,000 to Southmead Development Trust for three years to fund their Monday Club and a Life Planning Co-ordinator.
This allows access to vital resources for older people within the community, giving them an opportunity to socialise and seek support.