Age Better in Sheffield: Firth Park Neighbourhood Toolkit

Find out more about our latest Neighbourhood Toolkit here!

Since the beginning of the Age Better in Sheffield programme, South Yorkshire Housing Association has worked with local residents to design and deliver Neighbourhood Toolkits in three of our four target wards for the programme – Burngreave, Beauchief/Greenhill, and Firth Park.

We were first inspired to develop the idea of a Neighbourhood Toolkit when we learnt that a large majority of people that are lonely and isolated often don’t leave their homes, or come into contact with projects and services that can provide support. By posting something through letterboxes we’re able to reach those who are most lonely and isolated.

The toolkits aim to provide:

  • information about the Age Better in Sheffield projects and support that help to alleviate feelings of loneliness
  • tips on how neighbours can look out for people that they think are lonely, and what they can say or do to help
  • stories about what it’s like to grow older in the ward
  • directions on how to access to local services that might be of use
  • inspiration around becoming connected with your local community

We start by meeting local people who share their stories, thoughts, and experiences about what it’s like to live and grow older in their ward. And then we work together to create a toolkit to reduce isolation and loneliness in those aged 50 and over. Once they’re printed and collated, we then deliver 7,000 Toolkits per ward, so that’s a whopping 21,000 delivered already!

The Firth Park toolkit is the third in the series. Inside the envelope there’s a map of the ward (which includes Parson Cross, Longley, Southey, Wincobank, and Firth Park), complete with bus routes and a whole host of places and projects for people to learn about and visit in the area. A dry wipe whiteboard, pen and magnet are included so people can plan some weekly activities using the map. There is also a collection of postcards championing local people of all ages, and a freepost return card so people can get in touch with the Age Better team.

Hannah Thornton, Communications and Toolkit Officer for Age Better in Sheffield, said: “Often, one of the reasons people can stay feeling lonely is because they don’t know about the opportunities that are available in their local area – but it doesn’t have to be that way! The toolkits are a brilliant chance to reach individuals in their homes, and to help people reconnect with their communities. Our biggest hope is that people interact with the toolkit and consequently feel inspired to do something differently, whether it’s attending a new group, chatting with someone on their local park bench, or encouraging someone else in their community to give something new a try.”