KiB and COVID-19
Older people feel more alone and isolated than ever before now that care homes and most hospitals have cancelled visits. The crisis hasn’t stopped KiB: our singers are spreading cheer at a safe distance – on doorsteps, through windows, and in the streets.
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Our imaginative healthcare projects make an immediate and lasting difference to the lives of older people. Our teaching and training programmes make our expertise available to everyone.
We started KiB in 2009 as a way of sharing hundreds of simple but powerful ideas that make a world of difference to older, vulnerable people in hospitals, care homes and the community.
To bring our ideas to life, we created supported volunteering projects; giving young people a framework to use their talents to light up the day for older people, through music, art, pampering, drama or cookery, or just having a lovely chat. We noticed that everyone benefits when the generations come together: the young feel valued; the old feel valuable when they get the chance to tell their stories and pass on their experience.
Healthcare staff feel uplifted, energised and more connected to the people they’re caring for. NHS leaders asked us how we could replicate this multi-generational magic, so we created a range of accredited courses to capture the KiB experience. We call our programme ‘creative thoughtfulness’. It includes CPD courses, educational courses, and individual/group courses, all packed with imaginative ways to make life better for older people.
“The beauty of the Kissing It Better model is that everyone involved benefits – the patients and their carers, the staff, those giving their time, the provider as a whole and the community.”
NHS England evaluation report.
Do you have older relatives or family friends with valuable memories to share? Lockdown has meant millions of older people have had to spend time alone, away from family and friends – but for many of them it won’t be the first time they have experienced isolation. Ask them to share their memories with you, and your work could feature in a new book published by the Stratford Literary Festival this autumn.
There’s a new look to our timetable of Zoom sessions. We’re still running regular zooms to support our volunteering-from-home programme (approved by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award). But we’re now also offering a host of specialist sessions and masterclasses. These new zooms give us the chance to delve more deeply into the challenges of old age, and look at how you can help support older people in your community – great for students who want to pursue a career in healthcare. Read on for more details.
Since lockdown began, KiB singers have been lifting the spirits of older, vulnerable people by performing outside care homes and in hospital gardens. These sessions send a powerful message of hope and togetherness, showing older people that they have not been forgotten by the outside world.
We offer a range of teaching and training courses, developed in partnership with Skills for Health, and accredited and regulated by SfJ Awards.
KiB is committed to safeguarding and protecting every person we work with – young and old – and we expect all staff, associates, trustees and volunteers to share this commitment.
KiB is a dynamic organisation and we’d like to work with you. There are many ways to get involved, from becoming a volunteer, to signing up for one of our courses. Everyone we inspire can make a difference – together, we can help make life better for older people everywhere.