The Together Project runs intergenerational activities that bring joy to people’s lives.
Our events reduce loneliness, improve wellbeing, tackle ageism and help integrate local communities.
Age segregation is a huge problem for the UK and it’s been getting worse for 25 years.
Britain’s ‘age apartheid’ has left many older people isolated and institutionalised and deprives younger people of the experience and wisdom they can offer. Loneliness is now one of the biggest threats to the physical and mental health of all generations*.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Together Project designs creative activities that are rolled out at scale to reach as much of the UK as possible. Each activity brings together at least two different age groups who might not normally come into regular contact, with a focus on fun and friendship.
It’s something we’re incredibly passionate about and we're already seeing the benefits in the people we work with .
*source - A country for all ages: ending age apartheid in Brexit Britain, United For All Ages January 2017
WHO WE ARE
Louise Goulden, Founder & CEO
Louise was a marketing strategist for 15 years, working with clients such as the Commonwealth Games, Royal Mail and Sony Music. She has volunteered at charities supporting both older and younger people for over a decade, including Reach Out and Link Age. The Together Project was born out of a desire to channel her professional expertise into a venture that brings about positive social change for local communities.
Rosie Durham, DIRECTOR (VOLUNTEER)
Rosie is supporting The Together Project around her day job at Cancer Research UK. Previously Group Head of Finance at a FTSE 250 company, she brings extensive experience of financial planning and growth together with an in-depth understanding of the not-for-profit sector.
STEPHEN BURKE, DIRECTOR (VOLUNTEER)
Stephen is director of 'think and do' tank United For All Ages and the Trip Advisor-style website Good Care Guide. United For All Ages aims to create stronger communities and a stronger Britain by bringing different age groups together. Previously Stephen has been chief executive of two national care charities and the leader of a London borough. Currently he is also Chair and trustee of several housing, care, ageing and family charities and chair of finance at North Norfolk NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
...plus an incredible group of volunteers who help run and organise the sessions.
WHERE WE’RE AT
Our first format is Songs & Smiles, a weekly singing and social group for babies and toddlers, their grown-ups and older people, held in residential care homes. It’s been running since July 2017 in Walthamstow, east London and, we’re really proud to say, has brought happiness to lots of people.
The feedback from staff, residents, their families and the children’s parents has been unanimously positive and incredibly moving. We now want to roll this out to the rest of the UK, with other exciting activities to follow. We've recently launched in Leyton, Chingford and - soon - Forest Gate and are in talks with other care homes further afield.
THE IMPACT WE'RE HAVING
We've collected feedback and testimonials from care home residents, care home staff and parents, who've told us that Songs & Smiles has had the following impact:
care home residents
Uplift in mood and happiness levels
Improvement in motor skills and physical abilities
Development of verbal and communication abilities for those living with dementia
Increased opportunities to interact with other adults
Increased sense of ‘something to look forward to’
care home staff
Uplift in mood and happiness levels
Reduction in stress levels
Positive comments from Care Quality Commission inspectors
When asked in a survey for their post-event reflections, the joint top-5 answers were:
I felt I’d helped reduce loneliness in older people
I felt the intergenerational aspect was valuable
It gave my child the chance to interact with older people
I enjoyed it
My child enjoyed it
We are currently waiting on ethics approval for an evaluation project that will measure the impact in more depth.
HOW WE’RE FUNDED
The Together Project is a Community Interest Company, which is a form of social enterprise. CICs don't have shareholders; instead, they're committed to benefiting the community. Any surplus revenue is reinvested back into the business to fund our work.
We're financed by a mixture of trade revenue, grants and donations. In November 2017 we raised an incredible £35,000 through crowdfunding, matchfunding and a donation from Waltham Forest Council, which is enabling us to get the business fully up-and-running and start setting up new Songs & Smiles sessions. We were awarded a Do-It Award from UnLtd in May 2018 to help further our work.
Donations are an incredibly important source of income for us. If you'd like to help fund our work, you can give a one-off or regular payment via credit/debit card or Paypal. Visit our Support Us page - it's quick and simple!