Discover Brightlife

Discover Brightlife

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By ASFB Productions
Sharing stories of how to overcome loneliness. Because sometimes the best medicine is a good laugh in friendly company...

Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk

Presented and produced by Clare Freeman/ASFB Productions. Music by Thomas Ragsdale and Claire Mooney.
More places to listen

More places to listen

Men In Sheds: Neil
From welder to factory worker, care home manager to Age UK... Over in Winsford, Neil Corbin is in the driving seat of Cheshire's newest Men In Sheds project. The most important thing on the job? Neil says the role isn’t just admin, it’s also about getting the culture right: “You’ve got people who are absolutely hilarious whatever they say. You cannot keep a straight face. But there are also instances where just by talking you know you’re being a lifeline to somebody. People need people.” To coincide with International Day of Older Persons 2019, Brightlife Cheshire is releasing five new episodes of Discover Brightlife’s podcast. The collection of audio monologues in the Men In Sheds projects gives a voice and platform to men who previously felt lost, lonely and left behind after retirement. Produced and narrated by Clare Freeman at ASFB Productions.
16:06
October 17, 2019
Men In Sheds: Gus
From sawing to singing... Hartford's Men In Sheds project is overseen by Gus Glynn. After spending several decades working as a self-employed plumber, it’s a job that’s proven full of surprises.  But construction and manual labour aren't the only tricks up his sleeve. Outside of work, Gus has made a name for himself as an Irish singer-songwriter. His track Wide Open Stream is featured throughout this episode, and our Men In Sheds series. To coincide with International Day of Older Persons 2019, Brightlife Cheshire is releasing five new episodes of Discover Brightlife’s podcast. The collection of audio monologues in the Age Uk Cheshire's projects gives a voice and platform to men who previously felt lost and left behind after retirement. Produced and narrated by Clare Freeman at ASFB Productions.
14:44
October 17, 2019
Men In Sheds: Ian
A loyal husband of 50 years, a proud dad and grandad - and a worrier. That’s how Ian Potts describes himself. He’s been coming to the shed in Hartford for 8 years. The sense of isolation after retirement hit him hard. But the project ran by Age UK Cheshire has become an important part of his weekly routine. And it’s been good to know he’s “not the only one struggling with anxiety and stress”. During this episode of the Discover Brightlife podcast, Ian tells the story of emigrating to South Africa at 21, of working at General Motors and British Aerospace as an engineer - and these days, of enjoying his 6am alarm clock to go to the gym three times a week. To coincide with International Day of Older Persons 2019, Brightlife Cheshire is releasing five new episodes of Discover Brightlife’s podcast. The collection of audio monologues in the Men In Sheds projects gives a voice and platform to men who previously felt lost and left behind after retirement. Produced and narrated by Clare Freeman at ASFB Productions.
15:21
September 29, 2019
Men In Sheds: Eddie
69 year old Eddie Fallows spent several decades as a chauffeur to the Mayor of Chester, escorting the good and great to Buckingham Palace and gala openings. But retirement left him bored. Without work he lacked purpose and focus. By chance he remembered the Men In Sheds project. It was just what he was looking for - it gave him “that thing to get up for”. Then followed a heart attack, sepsis and 10 days in intensive care. When he woke in hospital - having been just 3 minutes from death - one of the folk from the Men In Sheds project was by his bedside, checking in on him. One of his daily highlights is the arrival of the pie man at lunch. And the thing he’s most proud of? His impressive collection of handmade pens he carries in his car boot! To coincide with International Day of Older Persons 2019, Brightlife Cheshire is releasing five new episodes of Discover Brightlife’s podcast. The collection of audio monologues in the Men In Sheds projects gives a voice and platform to men who previously felt lost and left behind after retirement. Produced and narrated by Clare Freeman at ASFB Productions.
17:34
September 29, 2019
Men In Sheds: Steve
Steve Jackson started his working career as a professional footballer. Then injury suddenly meant three years later he found himself married and having to enter ‘the real world’ at 21. He spent most of his career working in sales. But a heart attack at 57 meant his time of working on the markets was up. Now retired, and a volunteer at Age UK Cheshire's shed in Hartford, Steve created a modern railway track - one of his many passions - by hand with a fellow ‘shedder’ and friend Bob.  He describes himself as a bit of rebel. But his one regret? Not taking up his place in the merchant navy in the 60s because he fell in love with a girl. One that left him three months later… To coincide with International Day of Older Persons 2019, Brightlife Cheshire is releasing five new episodes of Discover Brightlife’s podcast. The collection of audio monologues in the Men In Sheds projects gives a voice and platform to men who previously felt lost and left behind after retirement. Produced and narrated by Clare Freeman at ASFB Productions.
14:53
September 29, 2019
Episode 8: Meet The Volunteers
At the heart of Brightlife Cheshire are our people. The people who we reach out to, the people who we support through funding and the people who believe in our ethos to tackle loneliness in our local communities. But the folk who are also extraordinary in our eyes are those who give up their time freely - the volunteers.  To mark National Volunteers Week 2019, we've collected a handful of their stories to show you the many routes into volunteering, and perhaps if you're thinking of it - what to expect. All seven share their moments of surprise, shock and laughter - plus reveal what impact just giving just a few hours a week has had on their own lives as a result. For more information on what we do, visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk Discover Brightlife Podcast is narrated by Clare Freeman. Produced by ASFB Productions.
42:47
June 6, 2019
Extra: The Making of Brightlife
What will be Brightlife Cheshire's legacy? It's a question Chris McClelland, the organisation's head is already contemplating - just three years into the five year project. In this episode, Clare Freeman looks back at some of the key moments of the podcast series and asks how the team are capturing evidence of their good work. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
41:26
July 12, 2018
Episode 7: Finding friends over 50
Tuesday morning’s are a hoot at Sue’s drop in club at a church in Chester. Yet many of the participants say they’re just grateful to have a reason to get up and out for the day. From newly widowed Thelma struggling with her future, to Pam feeling lost in a new neighbourhood, to Olwyn’s revelation about her part time boyfriend who’s great with the plumbing… The group sit back, smile and enjoy an eyebrow-raising quiz about ageing, a few cups of tea and a biscuit. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
15:57
June 10, 2018
Episode 6: Connecting 360
Nothing surprises Yvonne Boyle and Simone Cobbold anymore. They started Community Compass, which receives funding from Brightlife, walking the streets of Winsford asking those over 50 what services they felt were missing in their area. The heart of their mission is to find creative new ways for older people to stay social, get active and have fun. It just so happens that they also laugh a lot along the way too. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
44:54
June 3, 2018
Episode 5: Carers, Caring And Being Cared For
Jackie Brown and Sue Downham create, find and nurture support groups across Cheshire to help connect those in need with those who can. As social prescribers, what they don’t know about the local services isn’t worth knowing. But the stories which break their hearts time and time again are the carers they support. The partners who dedicate their lives – no matter what – to caring for their spouse until the very end. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
52:29
May 27, 2018
Episode 4: Audrey At 90, Now Artist And Poet
Once leading a busy bustling life within her community - suddenly Audrey found herself housebound with health complications and no driving licence living alone in a sleepy Cheshire village. Widowed at 59 and now 90, in this episode of Discover Brightlife, Audrey reads a letter to her 30 year-old self. She considers Brightlife a lifeline to helping her find hobbies and friends - proving that you’re never too old for anything in life. Finding her talents in poetry and art lead to her appearance on page 3 of the local paper to an interview on BBC radio, to being the subject of a leading American health conference discussing loneliness! There’s also a chance to meet some of the project’s inspirational women, celebrated during International Women’s Day 2018. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
23:38
May 21, 2018
Episode 3: Reconnecting the lost and lonely
Our connections with people are at the core of everything we do… Even a smile, a good morning or a nod of the head from a stranger can lift our spirits on a grey and dreary day. But what if it was your job to help cheer someone up? To help them reconnect with the world, and find a purpose? That’s the role of Brightlife’s Social Prescribers. They find those who need a helping hand, listen to what they have to say and find the right answer for them - for their interests, for their locality and their passions. During this episode of Discover Brighlife we meet Katherine Hussey and Chris McMahon from the social prescribing team. We hear some of the things that have shocked and surprised them, and how their expectations have changed from when the project first began. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
38:49
May 11, 2018
Episode 2: Diagnosing loneliness
When it comes to visiting a GP, sometimes all we need is a pill, an injection or a simple pat on the back… But how does diagnosing a patient who’s feeling lonely differ to the usual clientele passing through a doctor’s doors? And are feelings of isolation really covered under doctor’s orders anyway? Dr Achla Damania and Dr Jonathan Griffiths are GPs at the Swanlow Centre in Winsford, Cheshire. They’ve seen for themselves the difference referring some of their regular faces to Brightlife has had, and have also been challenging their own thoughts on the effects loneliness can have on all of our health. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. Visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
36:27
May 11, 2018
Episode 1: The Importance of Laughter
From the school friends reconnecting at 80, to Tim’s first trip out in months... we introduce some of the people who’ve found a new way after suddenly facing a life alone. It's Saturday Share Club at the Dingle Centre in Winsford, with a three course meal and an opportunity to connect with others ‘in the same boat’. Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness.
36:51
May 11, 2018
Trailer
If life is one long story of love, of laughter, a little luck and everything that falls in between… then who do we tell our stories to when we suddenly find ourselves alone? Brightlife is part of the National Lottery funded Ageing Better programme, set up by the Big Lottery Fund to help combat social isolation and loneliness. For more information visit BrightlifeCheshire.org.uk
03:03
May 9, 2018
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