Project information

Brighter Futures for Older People

The Brighter Futures project was set up to increase the independence of older people, to reduce avoidable admissions to hospital and care homes, enhance community participation and encourage older active citizens in volunteering.

November 2011 - November 2016

Charity information: Voluntary Action Maidstone

Voluntary Action Maidstone logo
  • Need


    We are trying to solve the problem of elderly people who have no family on hand to support them and cannot get to supermarkets to purchase fresh foods to enable them to eat a healthy diet. Many do not participate in enough physical exercise. This can lead to falls as they become less stable and develop confidence issues. We want to remove barriers such as loneliness, isolation and lack of community participation which can lead to depression and more serious illness.


    Brighter Futures provides escorted weekly shopping trips. We run Exercise Classes specifically designed to prevent falls. We provide outings, to places of interest to combat isolation. We run a befriending service both face to face and by regular telephone contact. We provide a sign posting service giving advice and a listening ear. We provide a counselling service for those suffering from depression, anxiety or bereavement. It will continue to recruit & train older active volunteers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase independence of older people


    » Provide a regular escorted door to door shopping trip to a local supermarket to allow them to produce healthy meals for themselves.
    » Provide a sign posting service giving advice on a wide range of services allowing older people to solve their own problems independently.

    What success will look like

    Success will be taking 90 beneficiaries on regular shopping trips where they have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy meal whilst socialising and making new friends.

    Aim 2

    To enhance community participation of older people


    » We will encourage older active people to volunteer in the project as an escort on shopping trips, outings, as a mini bus driver or as a befriender.
    » Once a referral has been made, we will encourage them to join an activity such as shopping trips, outings, exercise classes or having a befriender.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured through volunteer numbers increasing to 80 and beneficiaries using the activities provided increasing to 700

    Aim 3

    To reduce avoidable admissions of older people to hospital and care homes


    » Provide Postural Stability Exercise Classes specifically designed for older people to help maintain health, independence and prevent falls.

    What success will look like

    Success will be involving 70 beneficiaries in regular exercise through our Postural stability classes where signs of improvement such as getting out of a chair without assistance.

  • Impact


    Having support mechanisms in place to combat feelings of isolation will solve the problem many elderly people face of loneliness which leads to depression and often more serious illness. Giving older active people responsible volunteering roles makes them feel they are doing a worthwhile job whilst giving something back to their community. The postural Stability classes will lead to older people who were not taking part in enough exercise, develop stronger muscles and increase their mobility.


    The risks are minimal as we have a waiting list of beneficiaries and within Voluntary Action Maidstone there is a Volunteer Centre where many of our volunteers are from. We work in close partnership with Age Concern and Mind as well as a host of professionals such as G.P's. Mental Health Teams and Occupational Therapists.


    We will seek to get to know our donors on a personal level working closely with them ensuring we meet their individual requirements. We will accommodate their needs by offering monthly updates or alternatively an annual report and we will be happy to supply photo's and testimonials.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £20,000 Salaries 3 staff (Manager + 2 assistants over 5 yrs)
      £10,000 Core expenditure General running and vol exp
      £15,000 Mini Buses Lease of 2 plus all costs associated with
      £5,000 Overheads Management and capital costs over 5 years

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts and Foundations £50,000 Conditional
    Maidstone Borough Council £60,000 Guaranteed
    Reaching Communities £470,510 Guaranteed
    Token charges £130,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Maidstone is the county town of Kent. 148,200 people live in the district, 30,340 are over the age of 65. It is an important shopping centre and has a museum, theatre and art galleries. The rural weald of Kent lies to the south and west of the town and there are several small towns and villages in this part of the district.


    There are three areas of deprivation in the Borough, Shepway, Tovil and Park Wood which is ranked in the top 10% most deprived in the country under the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation. The majority of our clients live in these areas though we have significant numbers who reside in rural villages.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Voluntary Action Maidstone (VAM), was established in 1975 to recruit and place volunteers in the Borough of Maidstone. Since that time VAM has developed projects in response to local need. VAM is a Registered Charity, No: 1066911 and Company Limited by Guarantee. VAM has worked effectively with voluntary, community, statutory and public sector organisations developing expertise, knowledge and experience of the needs of the people of Maidstone, particularly the most vulnerable.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Peter Way

    Peter has Managed BFG since its inception. He is an older active person himself and his knowledge and understanding is key to delivering our aims.

    Betty Provins

    Betty has been a befriender for 4 yrs and is an inspiration to older active volunteers with her cheerful attitude she is a great ambassador.

Enjoying a trip to Leeds Castle

Enjoying a trip to Leeds Castle


Will pay for a befriender for a year

Words cannot express how much we appreciate all the hard work the willing troupe of Volunteers do.

Mr & Mrs Gee