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Zach Moss 5 July 2013

Inspiration and Learning from Silver Dreams

I recall feeling curious and excited yesterday morning as I travelled to Birmingham. I was travelling north for our second Silver Dreams learning event run by Big Lottery Fund. My feelings turned out to be spot on, as it was a great day. The room was buzzing on arrival and never stopped, as Silver Dreamers shared ideas, learning and made new contacts with each other and with Big and Ecorys. As many of you reading this will know there are 37 pilot projects in the Silver Dreams programme; some are mid way through their project and others have just a few months to run. Yesterday we learnt there seem to be 4 main models of interaction, although some – like ELRA – use more than one approach. The models are advocacy & befriending, peer support, strong volunteer network, with volunteers of all ages and specialist skills and meeting gaps in service provision. As well as having the opportunity to network, we also shared learning and ideas about partnership working and policy influencing. Really useful sessions as both these areas are an essential element of ELRA and the other Silver Dreams. The highlight of the day though were great presentations from 4 fellow Silver Dreams. Lots of learning and inspiration – so I thought I would share a little bit about them here; Big thank you to Big and Ecorys for bringing us all together yesterday – it was a wonderful experience being part of such an energising event and to meet so many other passionate people who are making a real difference to our local communities. Can’t wait for the next one!

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