We are delighted that today we have announced a £5.48m partnership with Big Lottery Fund, as part of Accelerating Ideas. Over the next five years we are looking forward to building on our strong legacy in the field of ageing by supporting eight highly promising innovations to expand their work to many more older people across the UK.
From our Age Unlimited programme, which developed and tested practical opportunities for people in their 50s and 60s to be active, valued members of their local community, to People Powered Health, which created innovative services for people living with long-term conditions, Nesta has long had a strong interest in finding ways for people to age well.
Our work through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund over the past two years has shown that it is possible to grow the reach and impact of some brilliant solutions to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population to many more people in England. Accelerating Ideas now offers the opportunity for us to support some of the most promising of these to scale across the UK, adapt their approach to different national contexts and reach many more people.
The eight innovations we are backing share some common themes:
A strong focus on building networks and inter-generational friendships to help older people to feel supported and connected. For example, GoodGym connect runners with older more isolated people to create friendships and provide support, while North London Cares and South London Cares create community networks of young professionals and older neighbours who hang out and help one another.
Recruiting volunteers, including older volunteers, to respond to particular health events or at times of particular need. This includes GoodSAM, an app that alerts off-duty medical professionals and those trained in basic life support to life threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrests in their vicinity, and British Red Cross’ First Call - Support at Home, which supports vulnerable people to recover from a crisis and remain independent at home for longer.
Creating deep levels of connection and mutual support, such as in Shared Lives, where trained and approved Shared Lives carers share their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well.
Using peer support as a powerful method of helping older people to manage long term conditions or caring responsibilities, as demonstrated by British Lung Foundation’s Integrated Breathe Easy, Carers UK’s National Volunteering Programme and Stroke Association’s Hand in Hand.
We are looking forward to working in partnership with Big Lottery Fund to support these fantastic innovations to make a significant impact across the UK over the next five years.
Photo credit: North London Cares