The mental well-being of elderly individuals is a growing concern in many communities, with social isolation and loneliness being common challenges that can negatively impact their mental and physical health. CamCare UK’s project, “Golden Explorers – Exploring and Learning Together”, addresses these challenges and supports the wellbeing of elderly citizens by providing opportunities for social interaction, physical activity, and mental health support.

CamCare UK received a grant from the NHS Health Inequalities Challenge Prize to offer 10 minibus trips and healthy eating cookery workshops for older people, to support their wellbeing by providing opportunities for social interaction, physical activity, and mental health support.

People standing in front of a minibus

Meet the beneficiaries

An 83-year-old lady, living alone in a suburban neighbourhood, had gradually withdrawn from social activities following the passing of her spouse and her own declining health. Joining the CamCare UK bus trips, she was initially reserved, often choosing a quiet corner during the outings. However, during a visit to a garden centre, she began sharing her expertise in botany, revealing her past as a botanist. The trips not only rekindled her passion, but also provided her with a platform to share her vast knowledge, turning her from a silent observer to an enthusiastic participant.

Another participant, a 78-year-old woman, had been a school librarian. Over the years, her interactions had become limited to her immediate family. The trip to The Higgins Bedford Museum was transformative for her. Surrounded by history and literature, she actively engaged with the group, discussing historical events and recommending related literature. The outings provided her with a renewed sense of purpose, and she soon became a go-to person for book recommendations among the group.

These outings have shown me that there’s always a new story to tell, a new memory to make, no matter our age.

A Golden Explorers participant

The power of community and shared experiences is evident in the transformative journeys of the elderly participants of the CamCare UK bus trips. These outings, while seemingly simple, have served as catalysts, reigniting passions, fostering connections, and providing a renewed sense of purpose for many. Each participant, with their unique backgrounds and stories, contributes to the rich tapestry of the group, making every trip a mosaic of shared memories, laughter, and learning. The positive shifts observed in individuals underscore the profound impact of these trips. Beyond the joy of exploration, they offer a platform for individuals to reconnect with their past, share their expertise, and forge new friendships. In essence, the CamCare UK bus trips are a testament to the enduring human spirit, demonstrating that age is but a number, and life’s adventures and discoveries continue, no matter the stage of life.