Awarded initiatives and nominees of the ELAC for migrant elders competition

We would like to present you those projects that won a prize or were nominated to be presented to the jury. We hope that they will be an incentive for many other initiatives to follow!

1st prize: Edinburgh (Scotland) and the project "Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project" (MECOPP)

2nd prize: Gelsenkirchen (Germany) with its project "Teilhabe Älterer in einer bunten Stadt" (Participation of seniors in a diverse city)

3rd prize: The project from Brussels "Jongleren: oud geleerd en jong gedaan" (Belgium)

Projects from the following cities received a special mention: Dortmund (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Leeds (England), Mechelen (Belgium) and Oberhausen (Germany).

Awarded initiatives and nominees

1st prize: "Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP)", Edinburgh, Scotland

MECOPP assists Minority Ethnic carers access the supports and services necessary to undertake or sustain a caring role. Carers are family members who provide support in daily living activities to people who are affected by age, frailty, disability and longterm health conditions. MECOPP provides the following services:

    * multi-lingual advice and information

    * advocacy and casework support

    * education and training opportunities

    * individual and group support

    * recreational, social and therapeutic activities

    * practical support in the home through our domiciliary care at home service

MECOPP is the only dedicated Minority Ethnic carers organisation in Scotland.

MECOPP is contracted by the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian (Health Board) to provide a range of culturally sensitive services and products (see above) to support Minority Ethnic carers and those they care for.
Suzanne Munday, Chief Executive Officer

MECOPP Carers Centre
172 Leith Walk
Edinburgh EH6 5EA

E-Mail: Suzanne Munday

2nd prize: "Teilhabe Älterer in einer bunten Stadt" (Participation of seniors in a diverse city), Gelsenkirchen, Germany

This initiative by the City of Gelsenkirchen is about particular consideration of migrant elders taking part in the senior citizens’ master plan development, participation and self‐organisation of migrant elders, of sick people and of those in need of care and about participation by intercultural learning (learning region of Essen/Gelsenkirchen 50plus).

Existing programmes and projects are coordinated and linked, for example the following:

    * self organisation with counselling of people sharing the same language

    * neighbourhood helpers

    * assistance to migrants suffering from dementia

    * a dementia project for the children of migrants

    * cooperation on neighbourhood maintenance with the Jewish community

    * intercultural everyday accompaniment and accompaniment for elderly people

    * dialogue on intercultural learning

Dr. Wilfried Reckert, Strategy manager for the city's plan for older people

City of Gelsenkirchen
Vattmannstr. 2-8
45879 Gelsenkirchen

Phone: +49 (0)209 / 169-3098
Email: Dr. Wilfried Reckert

3rd prize: "Jongleren: oud geleerd en jong gedaan", Brussels, Belgium

In the course of this project by the "Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel" (HUB) and the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) in cooperation with several service centres, students of journalism, arts and social work and migrant elders work together to create an exhibition with pictures and stories that focus on the life of senior citizens in the multicultural city of Brussels. The migrant elders serve as guides to the students and pass on their perception of the city. By making the students acquainted with Brussels and its inhabitants, the different cultures and lesser known places, they acquire intercultural skills.

Nienke Meulenbroeks, Project coordinator

HU Brussel
Stormstraat 2
1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 210 12 57
Email: Nienke Meulenbroeks

Janna Moonens, Assistant to the Director of Welfare, Health and Family

Flemish Community Commission
(Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie)
Lombardstraat 41
1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 548 11 16
Email: Janna Moonens

Dortmund (Germany): "Multicultural volunteering in the neighbourly help" (special mention)

In order to improve the provision for migrant elders in the elderly work and to facilitate access to offers of the elderly care in Dortmund for this group of people, the office for senior citizens in the district of Innenstadt Nord established a voluntary group of neighbourly helpers. This group mainly consists of elderly people of different nationalities. This project is aimed at establishing contacts and encounters, social networks, participation as well as support and assistance.

With the help of the office for senior citizens, and with the support of existing services and providers in the district, the requirements and needs of migrant elders are identified, and this leads to fields of activity for neighbourly helpers. Migrants of different ethnic groups become active in their neighbourhood, depending on their needs and competence. Their deployment is cross-generational and independent of their own ethnicity.

Fields of activity:

    * activation of migrant people within the scope of a small-scale neighbouring network

    * assistance and support in coping with everyday life

    * visiting service and accompanying service for the elderly

    * providing assistance with new social contacts

    * translation help and language support

    * homework assistance (migrant elders support children and teenagers with language problems)

Reinhard Pohlmann
Fachdienst für Senioren
Kleppingstraße 26
44122 Dortmund
Phone: +49(0)231 50-22505
Reinhard Pohlmann

Gothenburg (Sweden): "The bag - a film not to be afraid of" (special mention)

This project’s result is a silent film with subtitles in 12 languages and a guide for discussion about elderly people, diversity and security. It was produced with immigrant and Swedish-born elders addressing topics such as safety, solidarity, crime prevention, fire and injury from falls and where to turn to for help. It is intended for the use of groups.

As people get older they often revert to their original language and can then no longer understand the new language. The silent film has subtitles in 12 languages: Finnish, Persian, Turkish, Arabic,
Polish, Spanish, Somali, English, Greek, Italian, SKB (Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian) and Swedish. The manual is Swedish and English.

The film is intended to reflect the diversity in society, encourage commitment, combat isolation and loneliness and increase understanding and tolerance between groups – wherever they come from.
Nélida Becerra
City of Gothenburg
Central Crime Prevention Council
40482 Gothenburg

Phone: +46 (0) 31 368 05 21
Nélida Becerra
Website "The Bag - a film not to be afraid of"

Leeds (UK): "Leeds Dementia Cafés for Elders from Ethnic Minorities" (special mention)

Dementia Cafés for Elders from Ethnic Minorities were set up to improve quality of life participation and active ageing of dementia sufferers from Black and Ethnic Minorities (BME). They integrate cultural and medical knowledge and bring public services, voluntary groups and BME citizens together to offer new, culturally sensitive activities and services which improve care and wellbeing of elders.

The Dementia Cafés aim to improve the lives of elders suffering from dementia, reduce isolation and actively promote inclusion in community life. There are 11 Cafés, ensuring wide coverage across the city.
One Dementia Café offers services exclusively for elders from ethnic minorities & it supports the remaining cafés to also offer services adapted to needs of BME elders with training & advice.


    * Help elders from diverse communities, their carers & families to cope better with dementia

    * Improve mental & physical wellbeing through activities designed for dementia sufferers

    * Improve understanding of elders’ needs by their carers, families, local community & service providers

Elders suffering from dementia feel insecure, anxious, paranoid and frustrated. This can lead to isolation. Symptoms such as memory loss and other mental health problems therefore worsen. The Dementia Cafés embed services for BME elders within the community to help meet their specific needs, helping individuals and their carers to be more open about this stigmatised condition. They meet monthly & offer activities, culturally appropriate meals and advice on diet to slow progression of this degenerative disease.
Kuldeep Bajwa
Leeds City Council
Adult Social Care
110 Merrion Centre
Leeds LS2 8QB

Phone: +44 (0) 113 247 80 77
Kuldeep Bajwa

Mechelen (Belgium): "Increasing autonomy and participation of elderly migrants in the host society" (special mention)

In cooperation with local doctors, shopkeepers and public services, language courses for migrant elders offer training in daily situations such as taking the bus. The courses are tailored to the individual needs and pace of the learners. The weekly classes also serve as an incubator for social contacts between the participants.

As opposed to any of the alternative language courses existing from various providers today, this project’s language training does not focus

    * on gearing people up for the job market

    * on achieving strongly set objectives with a pass/fail at the end

but focuses on

    * breaking the chains of social and cultural isolation

    * targets the increasingly large population of elderly migrants

    * achieving the maximum individual progress, taking into account the possibilities of every individual. Every step taken is considered a success on it’s own

    * does not exclude people who are illiterate in their native language

Ann Claes
OCMW Mechelen
Lange Schipstraat 27
2800 Mechelen

Phone: +32 (0) 15 44 51 82
Ann Claes

Oberhausen (Germany): "Pro Wohnen International (Pro Residing International)" (special mention)

The project offers senior‐friendly and reasonable housing in combination with culturally sensitive services for migrant elders in their neighbourhood. These services especially take into account the needs of people who spend their lives in two countries – the country of origin and the host country.
Nese Özcelik
Project coordinator
City of Oberhausen
Fachbereich 3-2-20
Alte Heid 13
46047 Oberhausen

Phone: +49 (0) 208-825 3967
Nese Özcelik

Aalst (Belgium): "Life histories"

‚Life histories’ is an oral history project aimed at immigrants. It enables them to tell their life story: where were they born, where did they grow up, why did they migrate and why did they choose to come to Belgium – Aalst, how were they received by the local people etc. Their story is made available through

We always make sure elders of the first generation are involved in our oral history projects. This is very important, especially for the second and third generations of migrants. Being in between cultures it is essential for them to know their own history while integrating in the host society.
Michel Igual-Pacheco
City of Aalst
Oude Vismarkt 1
9300 Aalst

Phone: +32 (0) 5 373 23 11
Michel Igual-Pacheco

Bremen (Germany): "Köprü - Elderly care for migrants through low-threshold offers by involving volunteers"

The project is a volunteers-based initiative to contact elder migrants in need for counselling, advice and support relating to care: specially trained volunteers visit migrant elders at their homes, check and discuss their requirements and accompany them to public offices and institutions which are offering support or care.
Gudrun Münchmeyer-Elis
Project manager
Zentrum für Migranten & Interkulturelle Studien e.V. (ZIS)
Elbinger Str. 6
28237 Bremen

Phone: +49 (0)421-839 479 36
Gudrun Münchmeyer-Elis

Eberhard Piltz
Referat ältere Menschen
Freie Hansestadt Bremen
Die Senatorin für Arbeit, Frauen, Gesundheit, Jugend & Soziales
Bahnhofsplatz 29
28195 Bremen

Phone: +49 (0)421-361 28 88
Eberhard Piltz

Helsinki (Finland): "Memory pillows"

As part of a course of Finnish for foreigners, repatriates from the former Soviet Union created Memory Pillows from family photos, talking about their life stories. At the end of the project, the seniors acted as guides for the visitors of an exhibition about the Finnish diaspora in the former Soviet Union.
Aili Mehiläinen
Adult Education Centre of the City of Helsinki
Juholantie 158
07190 Halkia

Phone: +358 (0)50 3386023
Aili Mehiläinen

Kiel (Germany): "Network migrant elders Kiel Gaarden/Mettenhof"

Different actors from the fields of social work and migration, elderly work, healthcare provision, and migrant organisations coordinate their capacities to offer a range of services for migrant elders, their families and for the staff of the organisations involved.
Michael Treiber, Director
AWO-Zentrum für interkulturelle Konzepte, Projektentwicklung und Beratung (Centre for intercultural concepts, project development and consultation)
Sibeliusweg 4
24109 Kiel

Phone: +49(0)431-5114 350
Michael Treiber

Alexandra Mahler-Wings
City of Kiel
Andreas-Gayk-Str. 31
24103 Kiel

Phone: +49 (0)431-9012380
Alexandra Mahler-Wings

Märkischer Kreis (Germany): "Care info centre - PIC - for migrants in the county Märkischer Kreis"

A care information centre was set up, so that migrants have better access to home care offers. In the care information centre in the Märkischer Kreis, qualified “Intercultural Nursing Guides” provide a specific offer for consulting, mediation and accompaniment of migrants in need of care and their family members.
Mona Baschlau
Project manager
Caritasverband Iserlohn e.V.
Karlstr. 15
58636 Iserlohn

Phone: +49 (0)2371-818 633
Mona Baschlau

Oliver Renneckendorf
Märkischer Kreis, department for care
Bismarckstr. 17
58762 Altena

Phone: +49 (0)2352-966 7113
Oliver Renneckendorf

Offenbach county (Germany): "Growing Older in Dietzenbach for elderly people with a Turkish migration background"

In the Municipality of Dietzenbach in the County of Offenbach, a network of local actors active in the work with the elderly was set up and is involved in weekly information events on all aspects of ageing, including health, leisure, well-being and other topics.

The strongest grouping has been addressed in Dietzenbach, namely Turks. In order to gain access to them, multiplicators, respectively bridge builders were involved. The needs were established, and it quickly became clear that not only care and support are to be topics but leisure activities and vitality as well.
Hidir Karademir
Advisor on migration issues
Arbeiterwohlfahrt Offenbach Land e.V.

Phone: +49 (0)6074 /8180-2254
Hidir Karademir

Gerlinde Wehner
Kreis Offenbach
Werner-Hilpert-Str. 1
63128 Dietzenbach

Phone: +49 (0)6074 /8180-5324
Gerlinde Wehner

Teulada (Spain): "Accompanied integration"

In Teulada, local councillors of foreign origin are responsible not only for their field of activity such as environment or social affairs, but their task is also to act as contact persons in all matters for their language groups, which consist largely of seniors.

Today, 5 of the 17 municipal councillors are migrants, and alongside their primary tasks, they attend migrants in their respective language, no matter whether they are private persons or clubs and associations. Not only problems concerning the town hall are addressed but private issues such as labour law, social security or wedding documents. The municipal councillors have thus become helpers in situations of daily life.
Jürgen Buschmann
Councillor for Environment
Municipality of Teulada
Apartado 143
03725 Teulada/Alicante

Phone: +34 (0) 965 740 710
Jürgen Buschmann

Zurich (Switzerland): "HEKS AltuM – Age and Migration"

AltuM organises encounter and exercise offers for migrant elders: meetings in cafés, swimming courses, German courses, information events on age-related questions, social events, etc. in cooperation with different organisations and authorities.
Aida Kalamujić
Project manager AltuM
Seminarstr. 28
8042 Zurich

Phone: +41 (0) 44 360 89 62
Aida Kalamujić

Christof Meier
City of Zurich
Stadthausquai 17
8001 Zurich

Phone: +41 (0) 44 412 36 31
Christof Meier


Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament
Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament


Implementing organisation

Logo Action Courage

With the support of