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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Countdown to Giving Challenge winner announcement

Eighteen months of commitment and hard work are coming to fruition for the Giving Challenge finalists. Today Nesta alongside Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society announces the winners of the Ageing Well and Waste Reduction challenge prizes.

In July 2012 Nesta launched the Giving Challenges to involve people in the giving of time skills and resource to address to specific social issues; reducing isolation of older people and reducing waste. From over 280 original entries, eleven finalists (5 ageing, 6 waste) have spent eight months setting up and testing their ideas.

The ideas in the Ageing Well category spanned from providing men with complex needs an opportunity to refurbish tools for their local communities and provide toolkits for start-ups in Africa at Tools Company, to establishing a regular community radio show where the content and hosts are older people with a wealth of history to share.

Other ideas included a café run by older women called NANAs, a Task Force for older men to utilise their professional skills and interests to give back to their community and One Small Step providing support in everyday tasks to isolated older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Food was highlighted as a major waste issue by the volume of entries focused on waste reduction. Three of the six finalists; Brixton People’s Kitchen, Gleaning Network and Food Connection all focused on reducing the amount of food wasted at local, farming and retailer level. Proper Oils was addressing a gap in households having suitable places to get rid of their used oil and The Rubbish Diet and The People’s Design Lab focused on putting power in the hands of the collective by establishing a bin diet and the creating a platform (virtual and real) to design waste out of industrial packaging.

All of these projects demonstrated innovation in reducing isolation of older people and reducing waste and were further challenged to meet additional criteria to create new giving opportunities demonstrate potential for sustainability and scale. The winners of the challenges will have demonstrated the most significant impact against all the challenge criteria.

The challenge prize, which also provided tailored guidance and support to the groups/organisations has made it possible to test out the ideas and have tangible evidence of what they have achieved.

Their journeys have been a great learning experience, otherwise not afforded by other funding opportunities. Watch the film to find out what the participants have to say about the experience.

The winners will be announced at an event at Nesta this evening around 6pm. Watch this space to find out who they are. Drum roll please.


Constance Agyeman

Constance Agyeman

Constance Agyeman

Director of International Development, Challenge Works

At Challenges Works, Constance brought over 20 years experience in the voluntary sector to develop national and international programs which engage communities.

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