Supporting creativity in later life

by Autumn Voices in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute Council, United Kingdom

Supporting creativity in later life

£8,232

raised so far

58

supporters

Autumn Voices wants older people to love later life! We support, empower and improve the wellbeing of older people through creativity.

by Autumn Voices in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute Council, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 21st February 2022 we'd raised £8,132 with 55 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

New stretch target

Why should someone support your project? 

If you believe, like we do, that older people deserve a platform and community in which to share their unique experiences, tell their stories and showcase their creative skills and interests, then you might like to support the work done by Autumn Voices.

 

What has your journey been so far? 

Autumn Voices started life as a book edited by Robin Lloyd-Jones, then turned into a related website in 2017to promote the book,but rapidly grew into a wider ambition to encourage and support people in growing old creatively – now Autumn Voices’ central purpose. The website was supported by Lapidus Scotland, Creative Scotland grant funding awarded to write thebook, plus some of Robin’sown money.

In 2019, further funding from Creative Scotland helped develop the website and employ an administrator. Further staff were then hired to run competitions and manage social media accounts, and in 2020 Autumn Voices received funds from the National Lottery, Awards for All. When Covid-19 and lockdowns arrived, we were able quickly to develop projects that would help relieve isolation among older people. This funding also sustained further website and social media development, extra competitions with prizes, and new content to share positive and creative experiences of older people.This also sustained further website and social media development, extra competitions with prizes, and new content to share positive and creative experiences of older people.

In 2021, Autumn Voices secured support from Creative Scotland, DG Unlimited, the Robertson Trust and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to begin new pilot projects – Watering Grassroots and Third Age Plus Pioneers.These will inform our future work as we learn what creative activities and workshops older people want and how best to deliver them in partnership with local community organisations and groups.

From this funding, we started offering participatory creative workshops in writing poetry and getting published and we are developing ten local partnership pilot projects with creative activities at their heart. Our project leaders have experience in older care settings as well as in creative sectors. They employ a range of art forms and multidisciplinary approaches to successfully engage with older people and ease some of the challenges they face in later life. We’re proud that these projects aim to support the very oldest in our society: the over 90s. 

*Craig can find and insert a relevant photo from the archive to put here

What are your plans for the future?

We plan to build on the excellent foundations we have put down in the last couple of years by securing funding that will allow us to plan further ahead and develop new projects and partnerships with confidence. 

We will continue to grow and encourage our community of older people and engage in work spanning an increasing range of creative activities, online content, competitions and workshops.

We want to secure and expand our pilot projects across Scotland to ensure that larger numbers of older people, especially those living in economically deprived or socially isolated areas, can access supportive and creative activities which improve their wellbeing and sense of self-worth.

 

 

 

 


National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund

We’re taking part in the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund. Donations to our project will be matched by the fund up to the value of £250 to help us overcome the effects of the pandemic.


Please note only one donation per supporter will be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

£5,000 was our fundraising goal without the matched National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund but it appears to be added automatically to the total. We are extremely grateful for any and all donations and hope to reach a total target of £10,000 with your exceedingly kind support!

Who we are


Autumn Voices started out in 2017 as a book about creativity in later life. Since then, the book’s editor, Robin Lloyd-Jones, has expanded the concept into an organisation for the over 60s with the ambition and vision to encourage and support people in growing old creatively. It now has a small part-time staff team, a volunteer Steering Group and is on its way to becoming a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).

What we do

We work to challenge many of the negative stereotypes associated with getting older and promote positive and creative ageing through our active online community. We embrace old age rather than resist it, and we are growing a diverse community to do that. 

We use our lively website (with free membership!) and social media channels to support this community and showcase a growing body of content, activities and creative pursuits that champion ageing and empower older people to feel good about later life. 

We work with community partners and deliver special online projects, and we are developing and delivering in-person events and workshops within Scotland for the over 60s.

We share wisdom on writing, creating, ageing and living. We love reading, writing, nature, food, creative hobbies and discussing social issues. We publish newsletters, blogs, photographs, art and video content and invite our community to share their thoughts, get involved in our projects and enter our competitions. We engage with people from all over the world to share their skills, interests and lived experiences through both fun and serious content.

Why we're special

Autumn Voices was established and is overseen by eighty-seven-year-old Robin Lloyd-Jones. We’ve created part-time employment specifically for people aged 60 and over who still wish to work and earn money – a critical issue in a society living and working longer. More than 50% of our staff and 100% of our Steering Group are aged 60 or over and contribute their lived experience to Autumn Voices’ development.

We support and celebrate inclusion and try to engage with and represent people from all communities and identities. All older people and their stories are important to us.

We support older people living in any setting and work hard to develop new relationships and partnerships with community groups and other organisations dedicated to supporting older people. Our work also addresses the challenges faced by older people during Covid by continuing to develop safe creative and social outlets through an online community.

Why we need your help

Older people deserve a space in which to share their unique experiences, tell their stories and showcase their creative skills and interests – without stereotypes or assumptions.

Funding bodies agree, and we have been fortunate enough to receive help from Creative Scotland to create this online space, as well as money for particular projects from National Lottery Awards For All, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Robertson Trust and DG Unlimited

That funding has allowed us to do great things: running competitions, organising events and workshops, and creating innovative projects to support and encourage the oldest people in our society. To do all that takes time and effort, and we’ve built a great team of committed individuals to make that work happen.

For Autumn Voices to thrive, we need to retain – and expand – our core team. But, the nature of our funding means that we are unfortunately in danger of running out of funds to sustain our everyday running costs and it will be hard to develop our specialised project work without a firm base to administer it.

Once we become a SCIO, we will be able to apply for a much wider range of funding. This takes time however, and right now we need bridging funds for core costs. Your support will allow us build on the excellent foundations we have put down in recent years while planning and developing new partnerships.

Your older people need you!


Love life, love ageing,
Love,
Autumn Voices.

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 Reward

FREE entry into any one of our Autumn Voices competitions during 2022 ( value £5)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

FREE copy of Autumn Voices or New Frontiers book (Value £14.50 incl p&h)

£100 or more

£100 Reward

FREE UNLIMITED entries to Autumn Voices competitions for 12 months (value up to £50)

£200 or more

£200 Reward

£200 or more gets a FREE evaluation from Robin Lloyd Jones on a piece of writing/writing sample up to 2500 words (Value £100)

£250 or more

£250 Reward

Become a patron of Autumn Voices and be featured in a special area of the community website.

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