Resources, Recordings, and Round up of this year’s Influencing Conference

The resources from this year’s Influencing Conference are now available to all local and national Age UK staff.

We would like to thank all those who attended the Age UK Influencing Conference 2022! We hope you found the day informative and feel more confident when supporting older people through the difficult winter ahead of us. If you couldn’t attend or missed a session, we have curated a booklet with all the key details from the Conference, including recordings of each session and speaker slides. You will also find information on the work of the Influencing Committee and upcoming events.

Please contact Luke Pilot (luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk) if you would like to discuss anything about specific national campaigns or your local influencing further.

New training content on the Age UK e-learning site

There are some new training courses available for Partners on the Age UK e-learning site. Find out all about the new courses, including how to register and access the e-learning site.

We are pleased to announce that new training courses are now available for Partners on the Age UK e-learning site. There’s a Safeguarding Course designed to be completed as part of an induction process, as well as some Triage and Assessment Courses for those involved in call handling and Information and Advice activities. Find out full details below, including how to access the e-learning site.

Safeguarding Course

This course has been designed for all staff and volunteers to complete as part of an induction process. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and it is essential that everyone, in whatever role they undertake, knows how to recognise, respond to, and report abuse and neglect. 

This course does not cover elements of the legislation regarding people in a position of trust such as care workers.

Triage and Assessment Courses

New content is available to support those who are having to make triage and assessment decisions for clients. These courses will be predominantly useful for those involved in call handling and Information and Advice activities. This course has been assigned to receptionists, I&A staff and volunteers and service managers, but anyone can request access to his course form the advice unit if they do not already have it.

How to access Age UK’s e-learning site

Access to the Age UK e-learning site is free and anyone can register for an account using the link below:

If you’ve already got an e-learning account, you can access the e-learning site using the link below:

Any questions please contact chloe.longmore@ageuk.org.uk.

The State of I&A Report – July 2022

The July I&A Network Meeting captured attendees’ views on three key challenges facing I&A providers currently: demand, staffing, and funding. Read the full report and a report of Age UK’s response, below.

In July 2022, we trialled a new format for the regional I&A network meetings where we ran some polls to capture participants’ views on the three key areas we felt were most pressing in terms of I&A services at present: demand, staffing, and funding.

The discussion proved very successful, and we have written a report summarising our findings as well as a further report to summarise the Age UK response. Both of these reports are available on the loop here. You can find them in the attachments section on the right-hand side titled “State of I&A July 2022” and “September 2022 Response”.

We hope that you will find these reports to be useful. We have found this feedback to be incredibly helpful and we will continue running polls in future I&A meetings – although we may vary the topics that we choose.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest a topic, then please get in touch with Chloe.longmore@ageuk.org.uk. If you are having any trouble logging into the loop, please email: theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

New CQS passporting opportunity for Quality in Befriending Accreditation

Age UK and Befriending Networks have worked on a new “passporting” arrangement to help local Age UKs to gain a Quality in Befriending (QIB) accreditation.

Age UK and Befriending Networks are pleased to announce a new “passporting” arrangement that will enable any local Age UK or local Age Cymru partner with a current (2022 version) CQS certification to “passport” aspects of your CQS certification into a Quality in Befriending (QIB) accreditation.

This means that if your organisation wants to achieve QIB accreditation, the passporting arrangement will see your organisation assessed against fewer of the QIB indicators; receive a £200 discount on accreditation fees; and get one year’s free membership of Befriending Networks (if you’re already a member, you’ll get your next year’s membership for free!).

To find out more about the passporting arrangement and pricing structure, please click here.

To find out more about Quality in Befriending (QIB) and how to apply, please click here or e-mail Angus Maclean, angus@befriending.co.uk.

If you’re having any trouble accessing the loop, please get in touch: theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

Older people’s views on the ongoing impact of Covid on the delivery of Age UK Services 

Highlights of the conversations Age UK has had with older people on their Services Sounding Board about their feelings on face-to-face services.

In recent months, the data and feedback we have collected from local Age UKs has indicated that there remains some reluctance on the part of older people to engage in face-to-face interaction, either in their home or at another venue. In light of this, we spoke to the Age UK Services Sounding Board about this issue to gather their views and help inform our next steps. You can view the highlights of this conversation below.

The Services Sounding Board is a group of older people, from different locations across England, who represent seldom-heard voices (for example carers, people from a range of ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, people whose first language is not English).

The conversation at the Sounding Board provided useful insight, a few highlights summarised below: 

  • Many older people have lost confidence and remain concerned about the risks around Covid. One person said “fear can easily become a habit”.
  • People think more carefully before leaving the house. Following Covid, they realise what is possible without needing to go out so, if it isn’t essential, they may choose not to.
  • For some people, there is a reluctance to use public transport and risk being exposed to Covid, but for those who don’t have a car, it is more difficult to get out and about.
  • There was no consensus from the group as to what steps in relation to Covid should or shouldn’t be taken in order to keep people safe. For example, some people stated that use of hand sanitiser is essential, others felt it was useful in general hygiene but has minimal impact on the spread of Covid.
  • Where services are taking steps to keep people safe from Covid, they should ensure this is clear so people know in advance of coming along to any activity.  
  • Messaging could come from the facilitator of the relevant service/activity to demonstrate a personal awareness of the issues.
  • The group felt that there is a lack of clear messaging about how to stay safe. Many people have remained mindful of the “stay at home” message, which has remained one clear way to protect yourself. The mixed messages about other aspects of Covid safety have led to confusion and caution as a result. 

The feedback from the group has been shared with the Age UK Content team and Age UK’s Covid information and messaging will be reviewed as a result. We hope that the feedback above is useful for in considering any steps that can be taken to encourage older people to access services in-person (where this is beneficial for them).  

If you have any additional feedback or comments, or would like to discuss this further, please contact Alison Ingram – alison.ingram@ageuk.org.uk.  

New resources to help your organisation prepare for your Charity Quality Standard assessment

View template documents and introductory videos to the Charity Quality Standard (CQS) that you can share with your employees, volunteers, and Boards.

Following requests from local Age UKs at our ‘Introduction to the CQS webinars’, we have developed template documents that you can personalise and give to your employees, volunteers and trustees to describe the Charity Quality Standard (CQS) and the type of questions that the assessor may want to explore with them. We have also created a video introduction to the CQS which may be useful. Please read on for full details of both resources.

The template documents can be found on the right hand side of the page here.

To see the video that provides a full introduction to the CQS and how it will be assessed, please click here.

The video talks you through each element of the Standard and assessment process in detail and provides links to the guidance. Also featured are FAQs from the webinar sessions so you can hear the answers to the questions raised.

If you’re having any trouble accessing the loop to view the links above, please email theloop@ageuk.org.uk.

Contacting Age UK’s Partner Helpdesk

With the vast majority of enquiries now coming to by email, Age UK have decided to close our Partner Helpdesk phone line. We’re still here to help by email though, find out full details below.

Nowadays, the majority of general enquiries from Brand Partners to Age UK’s Partner Helpdesk come by email. As a result, we have decided to close the Partner Helpdesk phone line (0203 033 1222) which is now very rarely used. Going forwards, if you have any general queries for Age UK (such as requests to advertise vacancies, access the Loop, or receive support in any other areas), please continue to email partnership@ageuk.org.uk where your query will be responded to or triaged to the right person within Age UK within 3 working days. Thank you!

A Guide to the Brand Partner Portal Week 6 – Future Functions and New Developments

The final part of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal” covers how the portal might develop in the future.

Welcome to the final week of our Brand Partner Portal (BPP) overview! We hope that you have found this series useful and have a better understanding of the different ways that the BPP can help us all work together. If you missed any of the previous updates, you can find them here. This week, we’re looking at how the portal might develop in the future and what new functions are coming on board. So, here’s a little glimpse into the future of the BPP…

Programmes

We have added a new tile to the Home page called Programmes, which will go live in July 2022. The first function in the new Programmes section will be for the Warm Homes programme. This will be a new area where partners can easily upload your monthly reports onto a secure database. The team have also moved all the programme guidance into this section of the portal which means you will no longer need to use the filesharing programme “Box” to access this material. 

If you are interested in delivering the Warm Homes programme, please click here to find out how to submit your application before Tuesday 5th July. The Warm Homes project team will be sending out more information and training will be provided closer to the rollout of Scheme Year 12. Please send any questions about this to warmhomes@ageuk.org.uk. 

We will be looking at how other programmes can utilise the BPP in the future for similar activities.

Reporting

We are currently working hard to put reporting in place that will help us and Partners to develop a better understanding of the Services that are offered across the Network. These reports will be created automatically by using the Services content that partners are inputting as they integrate their websites with the BPP (more on this in Week 3’s article here). So, a huge thank you to all brand partners that have already gone through this process. We should have a third of all partners integrated by the end of the summer.

If you are not yet signed up to a Website Integration sprint (where we support you to put your Services/Shops content into the BPP), please get in touch with us at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk. We currently have space available on Sprints 5 and 6.

Website Integration of Events and Activities

A handful of brand partners joined us as we tried to bring the Events and Activities function online for Website Integration. Unfortunately, we had to move that feature back into development for some fixes, but the good news is that the bugs have now been fixed.

We will shortly be getting in touch with some brand partners to ask you to help us test out this functionality before we release the new feature. We’re hoping to be able to test this across the summer and roll out the new feature to partners from Sprint 4 in September.

Local Directory

We believe that by the end of Summer 2022, we will have enough partners who have integrated their websites with the BPP to allow us to switch on our new local directory.

What this means in practice is that visitors to the Age UK website will be able to search for services and shops in their postcode area and receive results from local partners’ websites based on the information those partners have input into the portal. When a user clicks on the search results, they will be taken directly to the integrated brand partner’s website.

If you have not yet been part of a web integration sprint, we will have messaging in place to provide users with the Age UK/Age Cymru in their area so they can visit your website or ring your office. Once a partner completes a website integration sprint, their services and shops will also be searchable on the national site.

Bulk Ordering

Some of you may have spotted a tile on the home page called Bulk Ordering. This function will allow brand partners to order information guides from our fulfilment centre in Warrington. Some examples of Information Guides include Caring for Someone with Dementia; Power of Attorney; and Save Energy Pay Less. We don’t currently have a launch date for the Bulk Ordering system, but we will keep you posted on progress.

Moving Forwards

Although we’ve come to the end of this epic six-part series, we will continue to send you updates as the BPP develops. You can always come back to this series here and if you ever have any questions about the different functions, you are always welcome to contact me on alisa.yingling@ageuk.org.uk.

Best wishes,

Alisa Yingling
Programme Manager

Brand Partner Portal
Age UK

Cancer Support e-learning Resources from Macmillan

Macmillan have shared a set of e-learning resources to support older people who are living with cancer, which Brand Partners may wish to access.

Macmillan have been in touch with Age UK to see how we can work more closely together, by sharing the knowledge and resources we each have. Macmillan are in the process of revamping their e-learning offer but, in the meantime, have suggested that we in the Age UK Network might find the below resources helpful, given that many older people are living with cancer.

Please do feel free to share the links below with others who may be interested. We will continue the conversation and explore how we can develop the partnership further. Please contact Alison Ingram (alison.ingram@ageuk.org.uk) with any queries.

Access the e-learning resources below:

Stronger My Way | Physical Activity Resources

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has released a series of resources for organisations that support people living with health conditions to perform strengthening activities.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has released resources to help organisations to support people living with health conditions to perform strengthening activities to help them to feel better and stay active. Organisations can access their evidence base, links to training and resources, and a forum to share information and experiences. Click here to view the resources.

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