HOP to it for pots of cash

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Wouldn’t it be great if more older people could get involved in arts and culture as a means to leading happier, more fulfilled lives? In 2014, we created a network called HOP, which does just that. HOP actually stands for Happy Older People, and it does exactly what it says on the tin! Joining forces with LightNight organisers Open Culture, we’ve produced and developed a network of organisations with the aim of finding new ways of working together to engage local older people in arts and culture. We want to encourage other local organisations across the Liverpool City Region to apply for a new wave of funding we have available, to help older people feel less isolated through the enjoyment of arts and culture, meeting new people and learning new skills.  Through the HOP network, six new ‘HOP Pots’ of up to £300 each are available to put towards new partnership projects developed by arts or cultural organisations working alongside a community/older people-focused organisation to help make it easier for older people to access the arts. This is the fourth round of HOP Pot funding since 2014, and previous HOP-funded projects have achieved a variety of outcomes, including a reduction in social isolation by facilitating activities outside the home, improved mental stimulation, increased levels of physical activity and breaking down barriers for older people using new technology. Projects have included themed craft workshops developed by Helena Partnerships in sheltered housing schemes, a Digital Surgery run by The Royal Court Community Choir alongside Liverpool Girl Geeks, and the Get Active Trackers project whereby Care and Innovation Limited worked with African Elders to offer regular exercise opportunities to members. The deadline for HOP Pot funding applications is Monday 17 July. Further information and the application form can be found at www.happyolderpeople.com or by emailing Rachael Treacher, Happy Older People project manager at Open Culture rachaelt@culture.org.uk. The HOP network consists of a variety of arts organisations, healthcare professionals and providers, older people, housing associations and community groups. The next network meeting will take place on Wednesday 21 June from 1.30-3.30pm at Blackburne House. If you would like to join us to find out more about HOP, please do come along - new members and organisations are welcome.