Created by National Museums Liverpool in 2014, the Happy Older People (HOP) network promotes age-friendly arts participation across the Liverpool City Region.
Created by National Museums Liverpool, the Happy Older People (HOP) network promotes age-friendly arts participation across the Liverpool City Region.
The network is designed to create an arena for new partnerships to be formed, connections to be made, and to communicate the age-friendly arts offer for older people across the city and the region.
HOP aims to address issues of loneliness and isolation amongst older residents by breaking down barriers to participation in arts and culture through active engagement.
It has active network of over 160 members. HOP brings together:
• older people
• cultural organisations
• health and social care providers
• housing associations
• community groups
• transport providers, and
• volunteering organisations
The aims of the network are accomplished by:
• Themed network meetings attended by between 20 and 90 individuals;
• A monthly e-newsletter that promotes cultural opportunities for older people circulated to a list of over 160 email addresses and counting.
• Research activity and targeted outreach meetings to generate content and create interest in the network.
• ‘HOP Pot’ grants to enable a variety of diverse organisations to engage older people with arts and cultural projects and interventions across the city region.
The HOP network in the Liverpool City Region currently costs £35k to deliver annually. This incorporates staffing costs, network co-ordination and project management, and the distribution of HOP Pots (small grants programme) to community organisations delivering arts and cultural activity for older
Evidence of success
Network of over 160 members.
Key findings from HOP activities include:
• A reduction in social isolation through increased levels of contact from taking part in cultural interventions outside the home.
• Improved mental stimulation through enjoyment of new forms of activity.
• Increased levels of physical activity through exercise and through participation in workshops.
• Breaking down barriers by challenging assumptions that digital art is ‘not for me’.
• Increased levels of social in
Accessibility of provision, marketing and delivery of activity.
Digital communication - HOP e-newsletter, website
Lack of financial means for older people to participate - met through annual HOP Pot.
Limited funding for the network and co-ordination of members.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Happy Older People Network is a fantastic project, particularly the HOP Pots of cash that allow some simple projects that can make a huge difference to improving the lives of the older people who are being reached.
Last year HOP funding pots went towards projects enabling older people to access digital technology in an arts and culture setting. So many older people think they are past the point of being able to use digital technology as it’s essentially learning a new skill, but the projects we funded challenged this perception and opened up a whole host of new opportunities to the older people they worked with.
This shows that arts and culture is a great starting point for helping isolated older people in our local communities to add more enjoyment and positivity to their lives.
It is easily transferred in any other conditions and geographies with small fund.