Semi Finalist 30: The Freebird Club
Field: Health and ageing
Summary of the idea:
The Freebird Club is a web-based community platform to enable peer-to-peer home-stays and vacations for older adults. It will operate as an international membership club for seniors based around social travel; whereby member ‘hosts’ can make spare rooms in their homes available to fellow member ‘guests’ to come and stay based on a nightly rate. Uniquely, the home-stays will always involve the host being present, as this concept focuses as much on enjoying the company as enjoying the accommodation. This offers a whole new travel option for independent-minded older travellers, a new way of unlocking the asset value of their homes and earning money, and most importantly it provides a fun, accessible way to meet new like-minded people and enjoy companionship in later life. Being able to travel, socialise and earn money in new ways is also psychologically empowering, with obvious benefits to an older person’s self-esteem and overall well-being.
The Freebird Club therefore addresses two of the most significant social challenges facing our ageing society: (i) loneliness and isolation among older adults; and (ii) financial insecurity in later life, compounded by inadequate pensions. Our mission is to connect and enrich the lives of older adults through meaningful travel. We will do this by applying the ‘sharing economy’ model in a meaningful way.