The Difference We Make

The numbers of older people living in our communities is rising.

Over the next ten years we expect one in five people in Stoke-on-Trent will be aged 65 and over, and in Staffordshire the number of older people aged 85 and over will increase by 42% (based on local authority Joint Strategic Needs Assessments). These trends represent an increasing demand on public services with increasing numbers of people living with life-limiting illnesses, long-term health conditions, and disabilities.

At a time when health inequalities are growing and people are experiencing increasing hardship and isolation, it is important to see how we can make a positive difference in the lives of older people in our communities.

  • By listening, checking, and being responsive, we are better able to understand how our support can make a difference to people’s lives.
  • By offering independent support, safe spaces, and opportunities to talk, we can promote the voices of people in our communities.
  • By working in partnership, we are better able to influence local and national decisions, to help build a future for all ages together.

People tell us positive ageing means: having good support networks; feeling safe and secure; staying active, independent, and adventurous. It is about being valued, treated with respect, and living a life with purpose.

The difference we make by being us

People who join our meetings, take part in activities, people who volunteer, and people who work with us, say: everyone at BJF goes out of their way to be kind, open and friendly; treating people as individuals; accepting people for who they are; encouraging people to thrive and grow in confidence; sharing ideas, voices, and power.


March 2020 to March 2021
Number of people we supported1,131
Number of hours of support we provided2,041
Number of times we stayed in touch by phone, emails, and messages6,746
March 2021 to March 2022
Number of people we supported1,253
Number of hours of support we provided3,132
Number of times we stayed in touch by phone, emails, and messages2,276
Number of virtual and face to face meetings (one to one meetings, group meetings, events1,280

What people have to say about the Beth Johnson Foundation

“I would like to express my gratitude to the BJF for the provision of the cancer advocacy support at a time of fear and isolation.”

“Bless you, you are the best friends I’ve ever had.”

“Just pick up the phone and you’ll find some sort of solace in joining a little group like this, it will help.”

“Thank you for giving me and my guide dog a wonderful chance of meeting and interacting with some very truly inspirational people, sharing, helping, and supporting people we wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t become a Volunteer at BJF.”

“My quality of life has really improved after speaking to you. Your positivity on my progress really boosts me.”

“It was a sense of connection with the community in these difficult times.”

“Zoom groups give people the opportunity to share emotional support with others who have experienced a bereavement. The groups create a social space for people to support each other from the comfort and safety of their own home.”

“I feel safe here and able to say exactly what is on my mind.”

“The volunteer proved to be a Godsend; nothing was ever too much trouble.”

They’ve helped me to understand living well. If it hadn’t been for the support from here, I think I would’ve really gone down bank. So, I have 100% trust in people here, I have 100% faith in BJF.”

“I find it a big help to have that support and talking to other people about how they are managing… I find the group meetings helpful, and they give me a bit more assertiveness in myself.”

BJF Voices 2022

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