Move Mates: Working In Partnership With Age UK

Move Mates works closely with Age UK across our project areas

We receive referrals from Age UK staff for people using their services who would benefit from walking, talking and enjoying some fresh air with Move Mate volunteers. Keep on reading for a closer look at how we work with Age UK in York and Durham.

The Out and About Service

Move Mates York and Age UK York have found that individuals taking part in the Age UK Out and About service often sustain or improve their desired goals by progressing to Move Mates. Karen from Age UK York explains:


“Since the start of the Out and About service at Age UK York in June 2022, our team have developed very good links with Libby at Move Mates in York. Our service goals are very similar  –   the Out and About service aims to help people to maintain their independence and develop social connections following a setback that has meant they are unable to participate in all the activities they previously enjoyed.


Both services support people to get out into the community and thus help to reduce loneliness and isolation. Having company and support on a regular walk can  increase someone’s confidence to get out, increase the distance they can manage, greatly impact on their mental health and overall wellbeing and enable the person to engage more fully in their local community.  


The Out and About service only offers support on a short term basis so we regularly refer people to Move Mates. All the Out and About team are aware of the variety of regular Move Mates individual and group walks and we regularly signpost  people to Move Mates.” – Karen, Community Support Services Manager Age UK York. 


Working with Age UK in Durham

Age UK County Durham (Age UK CD) is a local independent charity. Whilst they are part of the larger Age UK family, they are governed by their own Board of Trustees and are responsible for creating their own income. All the money raised is spent locally on services for older people who live in County Durham and some of their services differ to the services offered by the larger Age UK family.

Many ­Durham referrals come from the Age UK CD Occupational health team. Often these referrals are for people who are lonely and are becoming increasingly less physically active and more isolated and either unable or not confident enough to attend an Age UK CD community exercise class.

Durham’s 2nd pairing, Jean and Kate, came from Age UK CD’s first referral to Move Mates. Jean and Kate have been a real success story with Jean now managing to walk a mile (with her walking aid) and has started to venture out for some short walks by herself. Jean and Kate have developed a lovely relationship and Jean has reported that she feels like she has more stamina, is more motivated and has gained so much more confidence and independence since starting her Move Mate journey. Jean has also become more connected to her local community and she has spread the word about Move Mates to someone living nearby. He is now benefiting from his regular Move Mate walks too.

Another successful Age UK CD referral story is John. Laura from Age UK CD says, “It is so lovely to see and hear they are enjoying it and doing so well, thank-you.”

Hannah, the Durham Move Mate project manager has also found Age UK CD a very helpful charity to signpost people to, either current referrals who have required some additional support, for example their Digital Inclusion and Help at Home services, or for people who are ineligible for Move Mates but have benefitted from some alternative support available with Age UK CD. To see all the support and services available please visit their website


Other Services offered by Age UK

Several Move Mate beneficiaries attend Age UK day clubs, reducing isolation, and providing a safe space to spend time enjoying various activities, tea and lunches.


We also know of people we support who use the Keep My Pet service. This allows people to know their pet is being cared for if they have a stay in hospital or are unable to care for them themselves during illness or recovery.


Age UK also offers a respite care scheme, befriending, help at home, and advice and information to anyone over the age of 60.


Contact details for Age UK York

Phone: 01904 634061 (9:30 – 3pm Monday – Friday)



Contact details for Age UK County Durham

Phone: 0191 386 3856


Photo of Jean and Kate (volunteer), a Move Mate pairing out on a walk
Jean, with her Move Mate volunteer, Kate
John and John, Move Mate volunteer and buddy, smiling in the sunshine
John, and his Move Mate volunteer, also John

“The people that we support that have a Move Mates volunteer have all been very positive regarding the service. I look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future.”

Karen, Community Support Services Manager Age UK York

Thinking of volunteering with us? Get in touch via the button below. Training is provided and we we offer full support to our volunteers.

We have volunteer socials and ongoing training sessions throughout the year.

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