During 2015, LinkAge was independently evaluated by a Student from the University of Bristol, in accordance with the requirements of the degree of ‘Master of Science’ by advanced study in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law.
The final dissertation is in the process of being published and the paper attached at the end of this article is a summary of findings by the student of the impact of LinkAge.
Please see key exerts from the paper below, which shows strong positive evidence, on the impact of our work and our model.
“LinkAge activities are social at their core and it is that dimension that means they are uniquely capable of helping improve the lives of older in Bristol. The activities organised by LinkAge are ideally suited to address NICE guidelines that state tailored exercise programmes are key to ensuring the mental wellbeing of older adults (NICE, 2015). This research supports the idea that community activities in this format also ensure the physical health of older adults. LinkAge not only provide specific PA Programmes but make them available in a social format that encourages participation from both inside and outside of the organisation. The social nature of all the groups means that members feel comfortable trying new activities and also that potential new members may be more likely to attend because the impetus in on being social rather than competence of the actual activity.”
“The researcher found that many members took part in multiple LinkAge activities because the members found they could rely on the quality of the organisation and the friendly nature of other groups. This also resulted in there being a smaller than expected solely social group. Many members commented on how they had chosen to go to a group because they were interested in the activity such as a film club or walking football, but then continued to attend because of the socialising and frequent occurrence of making long lasting friendships. There are older adult activities offered throughout Bristol, but not all of them offer the same social nature. A great advantage of having so many activities under the same organisation is that members come to trust the brand and therefore choose to try other activities. This is also likely to mean that someone who joins a social club in LinkAge feels more capable of joining a PA group, partly because of the brand but also because they may have created friends in the social group that attend the PA group.”
To read the article in full, please click here
This evaluation was recently highlighted in the 16th Edition of the Campaign to End Loneliness Research Bulletin. Click here to read more