Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Hooray! Our Silver Dreams Flagship application is in!


Many thanks to all who contributed to our £1,000,000 Silver Dreams Flagship application. It was delivered to BIG Lottery this morning.

supported by Big Lottery and the Daily Mail

It has been a major task and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many people. Hundreds of older people, many of them affected by cancer, have informed the application as have our project’s wonderful peer advocates and local and national cancer champions. Project partners have provided us with loads of vital information and data. Two people deserve a special mention, we’d like to say an especially big thank you to Mike Pochin of Dorset Advocacy for his sterling work helping Kath edit the flagship application and to Anne Smith, OPAAL’s Finance Officer, whose vigilance and attention to detail made working with the budget much easier than it might otherwise have been.

If successful, our up-scaled project will involve new service delivery partners as well as new research and development and strategic partners. We’d like to thank these potential partners for their patience in what has been a lengthy consultation period and will now involve a further wait for the application result.

Our partners at Macmillan Cancer Support have supported us tirelessly from the outset and for that we are extremely grateful. It has been and will continue to be a pleasure to work alongside them to improve the experience of older people affected by cancer. We’ve learned so much from each other and look forward to reaching over 2,000 older people affected by cancer over the next three years.


We thought you might be interested in what we actually plan to do if we’re successful so here are our intentions:

We’ll upscale delivery of peer advocacy to Older People Affected by Cancer successfully piloted with Silver Dreams funding, reaching Older People Affected by Cancer in 7 new locations to embed and augment the good practice gains so far delivered, and establish independent advocacy as an accepted part of the cancer pathway.

Our 6 main aims are to:
1.increase the resilience of Older People Affected by Cancer including those from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community in managing their cancer pathway through the delivery of peer advocacy. Current 240 beneficiaries will increase to 2040 by 2017.
2.involve and learn from the older Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community, creating new tools and training materials raising awareness of their cancer support needs with project partners and health professionals.
3.increase the number of delivery partners to 10, supporting this by developing partners’ capacity through implementing national standards, delivering new leadership and mentoring and training programmes.
4.create a new network of Resource & Development Partners to help test project tools and outputs.
5.create a shared and lasting strategic understanding with health agencies both locally and nationally, enabling efficient and effective referral and communication pathways, thus sustaining the optimum accessibility and effectiveness of peer advocacy.
6.expand our networks of Local and National Cancer Champions Boards key to achieving aim 5 above.

Our new programme has a 3-year funding strategy to complement resources committed by the Flagship Fund (if successful) with additional funding sought from Macmillan Cancer Support, who are committed to sustaining OPAAL’s capacity as national project lead. An additional bid has also been submitted to NESTA which will fund (if successful) 3 new delivery partners and increase the capacity of partners to deliver through adding value to the leadership and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender elements of our programme and to expand development of impact measurement tools.


A £45,000 grant from Macmillan Cancer Support this year funded our new 9 month Foundation programme, through which we have assessed and prepared thirteen new partners to join Cancer, Older People and Advocacy. These partners are ready to work in accordance with our training, policies and standards. Each will be mentored by one of the five existing pilot partners.

We’ll develop a single national impact reporting procedure, publishing (with consent) over 300 stories of Older People Affected by Cancer and 10 films, and create a template for a multi-agency advocacy operational protocol to guide integrated working between health and social care that will benefit commissioners of advocacy nationally.

We should find out in late February or early March if we’ve been successful so do keep in touch with us via the blog to get any news hot off the press as soon as it becomes available.


2 thoughts on “Hooray! Our Silver Dreams Flagship application is in!

  1. well done to everyone who has been part of this funding bid and the project so far. I wish you success in this great work.


  2. Well done Kath and Marie. I believe you have put together an outstanding bid that will be of significant and lasting benefit to older people who are affected by cancer. It has been a joy to work with OPAAL over the past couple of years, and I very much look forward to continuing the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy partnership with you.


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