Last week we had an interesting and productive meeting with Kath Parson, Chief Executive of the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL). OPAAL, in partnership with Macmillan, run a separate Silver Dreams funded project which provides advocacy support to older people suffering from cancer.

OPAAL and CID have developed a mutually supportive partnership approach to the promotion and continued support of each others projects. CID provide OPAAL advocates with end-of-life rights training and meeting space in central London, whilst OPAAL provides information and access to its membership networks.

We both enjoyed sharing the current learning from our projects and discovered that we share many experiences such as:

– the ease with which we are able to recruit older volunteers
– similar training packages for advocates
– difficulties in engaging with health professionals
– demand from older people for our services
– the involvement of older people in oversight

We are hopeful that we will continue to develop a collaborative approach to future work of this kind. Meanwhile we intend to apply for Silver Dreams ‘Flagship’ project status for the project to the National Lottery later this year with the aim, if we are successful, to roll out nationally. We are also trying to obtain other funding streams should our bid be unsuccessful.