Local people with innovative ideas for improving opportunities for older people across the Moorlands are invited to a September workshop to help them bid for money to get their ideas off the ground.Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, in partnership with the Beth Johnson Foundation, is seeking to kick start services that encourage the over 50s to be healthy and active and continue to live independently.The Council’s Innovation Fund of £50,000 was set up support new ways of working with older people to help them age well. Funding has already been awarded to projects including a men’s over 60s group, a series of walks for stroke survivors, a community café, and a community project aimed at reconnecting the generations.Groups and individuals with their own ideas are invited to attend a workshop at Moorlands House, Leek on Monday 23 September where they can discuss and refine their proposals before putting them before the funding panel. Applications for grants of £250 to £1,500 are welcomed and higher amounts may be considered for special projects.Councillor Gill Burton, cabinet member for communities at the District Council, said: “This fund is about helping people to help themselves by providing financial help to get new projects and ideas started which are sustainable in the longer term without further grant support being required.“We’ve already helped some fantastic initiatives and I’m sure that there are people across the Moorlands with more great ideas so if you think you’ve got a project we could help with please do come along and talk to us.”Lynne Wealleans from the Beth Johnson Foundation added: “We’re trying to encourage innovation in older people’s services. We want to support activity managed by older people themselves. We would like to see projects aimed at people in their 50’s as well as older age groups”. Places for the workshop must be booked by Monday 16 September. Forms are available from the Staffordshire Moorlands Website www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk the Beth Johnson Foundation website www.bjf.org.uk or for people who do not have access to the internet please call 01782 844036.