Y’s Group (Over 60’s)

The one thing the team want you to know

As part YMCA Plymouth’s Health & Wellbeing agenda, we’ve established a new project (Y’s-Group) aimed at supporting
senior citizens aged 60+. This project was created to help combat loneliness, empower inter-generational interactions (utilising Health and Social Care students from Discovery College) and tackle social isolation, particularly for those residents in the poorest area of the city, who have been adversely affected by the cost of living crisis. Social Isolation has been widely researched, with studies highlighting that senior citizens who stay socially active experience:

· Better cognitive function
· Prevention of onset dementia or Alzheimers
· Good emotional health

Project description


Established in 1848, YMCA Plymouth’s mission is to deliver professional and personable services, focusing on 3 strategic priorities; Education, Health & Well-being and Families. Sitting in the heart of our community (Honicknowle) we support 10,000+ people per year. Our provision is delivered within a LSOA decile-2 area of deprivation, catering to economically disadvantaged people (deciles 1-3).

The cost of living crisis has increased social isolation, due to reduced means, detrimentally affecting the health of over 60’s. The NHS stated that 1-in-4 adults (over 60) and 1-in-3 adults (over 75), reported being isolated. Equally concerning, there’s a 50% increase risk of dementia, and a 32% risk increase of stroke amongst this demographic. As a result, YMCA Plymouth pilot a Y’s-Group project in October 2022, engaging 10-12 particpants deemed ‘socially isolated’. Within 8-weeks the pilot had grown to over 45+ Plymouth residents, initially from PL5 postcodes, now expanding to PL3,4,6,7&9, hence the need for growth funding. The YMCA organises structured activities, bringing the Y’s-Group together to enable them to get active, socialise and visit local attractions (see: https://www.ymcaplymouth.org.uk/ys-group/).

Our group members live alone, bereaved, in sheltered housing, have minimal social contact and no access to transport. In addition, many of the members have disabilities/ailments which without YMCA’s and POP+ support provides further barriers to isolation services. Therefore the Y’s-Group is the only opportunity to participate in something positive and purposeful…ultimately tackling a range of social isolation barriers.

Action to enhance the wellbeing of local residents:

YMCA Plymouth, in partnership with POP+, Go Southwest and GWR (offering reduced cost transport) will support our members to access health & wellbeing activities, reducing social isolation and broaden the Y’s-Group horizons. This allows the Y’s-Group free opportunities to venture beyond their home, providing access to locations around the Westcountry, whilst building new friendships and improving their physical/mental health. This funding will allow the YMCA to organise daytrips every 2-3 weeks (inclusive of warm refreshments & lunches) that only accesible bus/rail transport can provide, showcasing local picturesque landscapes, whilst exploring great sightseeing destinations from days gone by, including: Looe and St Ives, plus visits to small local towns, including Calstock, Totnes and Tavistock.

Aims and objectives:

1. Increase group size (circa 80-100 particpants)
2. Provide a wider range of experiences
3. Reduce social isolation
4. Improve particpant wellbeing

Target Groups:

– Over 60
– Socially isolated
– from marginalised communities / impoverished backgrounds

Funding needed £3847.00

What group or groups of people will the project be working with and why?

The groups of people the YMCA will be working with:

– Over 60
– Socially isolated / living alone / bereaved / disabilities & ailments
– from marginalised communities / impoverished backgrounds (most affected by cost of living crisis).


Evidence reveals that social isolation and loneliness hinders good health, putting older adults at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, weakened ammune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, alzheimers disease and 4 x the increase of early death (NHS:2022)

What areas will the project be working in?City wide

Predominately / preference given to the PL5 communty (LSOA deprivation decile 2), however we will accept and support referrals from other organisations such as: GP’s, Improving Lives Plymouth, Memory Matters & Timebank (already referal partners).

What is the group or organisations track record? Track record:
Been delivering for many years

How new is the idea? Experimentation:
Established for a few months


Salaries & peoples time 0%

Project costs 65%

Event/hire/rent 30%

IT spend 5%

Core costs 0%

Capital 0%

Organisations involved

– Improving Lives Plymouth
– Timebank
– Memory Matters
– Plymouth Isolation Forum
– Mindful Art Club
– GP’s
– Go Southwest (Formerly Plymouth CityBus)
– Great Western Railways (GWR)

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