Campaign: Looking beyond age and seeing stories
To get the public to recognise older people as individuals and to secure enough funding to support 200 older people with core services for a year.
- £63,000 raised up to the end of January 2017 equating to support for 242 older people, with two months still to go until the end of the financial year.
- Extensive regional press coverage and live broadcast radio coverage.
- Sponsorships gained with local businesses including Willis, The Insurance Institute and Basepoint Ipswich.
We’d been mulling over the campaign for years since discovering that the charity was only the 14th most (or least) supported charity in Suffolk. We have an ageing population, increasingly disparate communities and Age UK’s work is vital. Yet there’s often a sense of separation between younger people and their older neighbours. Every square mile of Suffolk, on average, is home to ten lonely older people. That’s simply not right.
We wanted to find a way to create a better connection between the generations. In this age, where few families sit down for dinner together and Granny is often miles away from younger family, that’s an important thing to do. So the campaign was all about finding shared conversations, getting to know people and unlocking the stories of their lives. Our goal was to break down the barriers between generations, equipping everyone with the tools to launch fascinating conversations that reveal the rich details of people’s lives, creating an emotional connection between them.
The campaign, ‘There’s More to Me’, makes the point that everyone you meet is not simply what you see. They are a treasure trove containing every song they’ve heard, every place they’ve been, everyone who’s been part of their lives. And all you have to do to unlock this treasure, is ask.
Our starting point for these conversations was a film. It’s a short, affectionate and celebratory piece in which we meet a small group of Suffolk people and they share this thought with us.
Age UK Suffolk built this theme into their work with the elderly, including into their dementia support programme. This taps into research about the immense value of unlocking memories for people who are living with dementia. It also improves the quality of conversations between carers and older people, adding to everybody’s quality of life.
Age UK also created a schools activity programme around this theme, designed to help younger people and older people to meet, oil the wheels of conversations and allow them to find things in common and to discover each other’s stories. We created a short questionnaire of topics guaranteed to unlock people’s fascinating stories and break down the barriers between generations.
This was the backdrop to a fundraising campaign with corporate and private funding partners given details of people or activities that they can sponsor. People like to know where their money goes, and the fundraising strategy build around this campaign allowed that to happen.
The upshot was a direct increase in support for more than 250 older people, and great side benefits of increased awareness, engagement and contact between the generations.