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.
We now offer three different zoom sessions as part of our Volunteering from Home scheme. ‘Valuing Older People’ is approved by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Our specialist masterclasses add extra value if you’re working towards a career in healthcare. And our brand new ‘Zooming into Care Homes’ project is a great way to connect with older people, and share their stories.
Many people wrote to say they enjoyed the BBC News story about our intergenerational Zoom sessions – particularly the bit where children showed off their pets. We’re thrilled to say that Dame Judi Dench was one of them. She was inspired to send us a clip of her new parrot, Sweetie, to share with our students. We’ve already had an amazing response to this clip. Thank you Dame Judi!
Covid has caused untold loneliness, suffering and separation. But for many older people, the experience of spending long periods alone is nothing new. KiB students interviewed older friends and loved ones to uncover astonishing stories of isolation and loneliness from the past. The result is a new book called In My Day. It’s a gripping read – buy it for someone you love this Christmas!
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.