Brighter Futures - Supporting Later Life

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Brighter Futures is a Mental Health Foundation pilot peer mentoring service for isolated older people in the community working with three project partners (Glasgow Association for Mental Health and Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health & Seniors Together in South Lanarkshire).

Brighter Futures is funded through Big Lottery Fund’s Life Transitions area of investment to run for a period of two years.

The aim is to significantly improve the quality of life of older people, enhancing their social networks, mental health and enabling meaningful activity.

The project aims to help older people to:

  • significantly improve their quality of life
  • enhance their social networks and mental health
  • enable meaningful activity.

The Brighter Futures project has been developed and informed by a four year programme of work which has provided evidence on what works to improve mental health in later life. This includes a research project in partnership with Age Concern and more recently work to improve services.  

This work has directly engaged upwards of 1,000 older people in Scotland and has provided further understanding of the key issues they encounter and which impact on their mental health.

These include:

  • poverty
  • age discrimination
  • health
  • relationships
  • lack of meaningful opportunities to make an active contribution to society.

This work has sat alongside and complemented the work of Health Scotland and the Scottish government on strategic developments such as 'Scotland with an Ageing Population' and EU Healthy Ageing Strategy.  

The Brighter Futures project consisting of a number of advisory groups including:

  • learning network
  • national reference group and local groups
  • older people’s involvement group.

Becoming a Brighter Future Volunteer

Mentoring is a one to one relationship based upon trust, confidentiality and mutual involvement. It works particularly well with people who are at risk of exclusion from society. Brighter Futures volunteers will be able to use their skills and experience to help an older person to become more actively involved in their community.

This will involve assisting the person to participate in opportunities and activities of interest while enabling them to establish a role in their community. All volunteers will participate in mentoring training, be part of a team of volunteers as well as having regular planned one to one support with the volunteer coordinator. 

The project is in partnership with three other organisations and if you are interested in volunteering or making a referral please contact one of the Brighter Futures Volunteer Coordinators in your area:

Glasgow Association for Mental Health
Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health
Seniors Together in South Lanarkshire