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The Second Half Fund will work with around 12-18 innovations that mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, to address a number of big social challenges. We have selected four priorities for our open call for innovations looking to scale their impact or reach, where we think there is a clear case for the difference social action can make.

We are seeking innovations that focus on creating impact for:

  • children and young people: people aged 50+ supporting and encouraging children and young people to succeed and find employment through social action.
  • parents and families: people aged 50+ supporting parents and families to nurture and encourage children and young people to be healthy and succeed.
  • ageing well: people aged 50+ supporting older people to age well.
  • resourceful and resilient places: people aged 50+ supporting resourceful and resilient neighbourhoods.

Below we outline what each theme means and what we are looking for.

Social action to support children and young people

We are seeking to scale the best innovations that mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to support children and young people up to 25 years old to succeed and find employment.

What is this priority about?

We all want more children and young people to reach their potential, and lead happy and successful lives. We also know that the support a child and young person has, can have a big impact on their future life course. From parents, families and friends, to professionals such as teachers, GPs and coaches, many people have a role to play in the success of our children and young people. We believe that social action has a key role to play in this support system.

From volunteer tutors in schools helping young people to increase their academic grades and ambitions for the future, volunteer code club teachers supporting young people explore digital technology, one to one support for children to improve their behavior and attendance at school, to HR professionals mentoring young people to make their way into employment, over the last few years we have worked with a number of innovations using social action to have a real impact on the lives of children and young people.

Yet we are not reaching enough of the children and young people who could benefit from this additional support at key points in their life. We also believe that the time and talents of people over 50+ are not harnessed to their full potential in this field.

This is a wide ranging field, with lots of ways that social action can support children and young people. So we are focusing on innovations that:

  • Provide extra support to young people in formal education, by offering additional learning support. For example through volunteers aged over 50 tutoring students to catch up; or acting as coaches supporting students to develop the skills and habits of students learning, or character traits like grit, tenacity and perseverance.
  • Deliver learning opportunities that are not otherwise available and help increase grades or help young people get employment. For example through volunteers over 50 sharing their talents and skills in practical ways to inspire young people and develop new skills; or designing and delivering learning opportunities that better reflect the ‘real-world’; or providing experiences that allow the young person to demonstrate employability.
  • Guide young people into employment, training, further or higher education. For example through people over 50 providing the know-how to navigate the system, and manage transitions; or helping young people recognise or build on their skills and experience.

In this impact area the Fund will prioritise supporting the growth of innovations that seek to meet areas of most need, for example young people not in employment education or training, young people at risk of exclusion, children and young people with a history of unstable family life or leaving foster care.

What outcomes are we looking for?

We are seeking to scale innovations that can mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to create impact on at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Increased achievement or attainment for young people in formal education (primary and secondary school).
  • More children and young people having more of the character traits and behaviours that are key to success.
  • Increased number of young people successfully accessing the next stage of learning, securing their first job/apprenticeship or establishing a business.

Apply now or read our FAQ for more information.

Social action to support parents and families

We are seeking to scale the best innovations that mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, using social action, to support parents and families to nurture and encourage children and young people to be healthy and succeed.

What is this priority about?

Being a parent is one of the most important jobs there is - it can also be one of the hardest. As the saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and all families need support at some point. This support can come in many forms and from many people - from family, friends, local groups, community organisations, and public service professionals such as teachers, nurses or social workers.

We believe that social action is a critical part of this support system. From mentoring, tutoring, coaching, buddying, and peer support, volunteers aged 50+ have a variety of channels to support parents and families. And we see that where volunteers are well trained and guided in their support, the impact on a child's life can be demonstrable.

We know that this a broad field so are prioritising innovations that are:

  • Supporting parental and family involvement in learning. Examples include volunteers over 50 supporting parents to develop their parenting skills; or volunteers over 50 supporting parents to be involved in school life, and engaging parents in their children’s learning, behavior and wellbeing.
  • Supporting parents to feel confident in their parenting skills and approaches. Examples include volunteers over 50 supporting parents to develop their parenting skills, structures and habits; or volunteers over 50 supporting parents to be less isolated and to navigate and access services, activities and other networks.
  • Peer support for parents, grandparents or older foster carers. Examples include people over 50 providing peer support to parents, grandparents and foster carers to improve outcomes for children and families.

The fund will prioritise supporting the growth of innovations that seek to meet areas of most need, for example families with children at risk of exclusion, health or behavioral issues, or with a history of unstable family life. We are particularly interested in innovations that support fathers, grandparents, single parents and foster carers.

What outcomes are we looking for?

We are seeking to scale innovations that can mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to create impact on the following outcomes:

  • Increased confidence of parents and families to help children and young people to be healthy and to succeed.
  • Increased parental engagement with their children’s school life and learning.
  • Increased engagement of parents in a child’s health and wellbeing.
  • More parents and families feel that they have the networks and support they need.

Apply now or read our FAQ for more information.

Social action to support older people to age well

We are seeking to scale the best innovations that mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to support older people to age well.

What is this priority about?

We know life expectancies are increasing - our research shows they are increasing by an average of five hours a day. But there is a often a big gap between what really matters to older people’s health and wellbeing - like having meaningful connections with others, remaining independent for as long as possible, and having a sense of purpose - and the priorities of existing services.

Over the last few years we have supported a number of organisations and approaches, that mobilise the time and talents of people to support others to age well. These include Innovation in Giving grantees such as Care4Care, the Amazings and Tyze, awardees from our Ageing Well Prize, and a range of organisations through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund.

But given the speed at which our society is ageing, and the challenges and opportunities this poses, we feel we have only begun to scratch the surface of the responses that are needed. We need to scale radical approaches to cater for our ageing population, which make better use of our individual and community resources to help us all age better.

This a wide ranging field, with lots of ways that social action can support older people to age well. So we are particularly interested in innovations that:

  • Support older people to live well independently. Examples include using the assets and resources of people aged over 50 differently in communities to divert people from institutional forms of care; incentivising people aged over 50 to care for others in their community; support transitions of older people from hospital to home; reducing the isolation of older people through one to one befriending or through activities and networks.
  • Support older people to care for one another. Examples include incentivising volunteers aged over 50 to care for others; or reciprocal models of care.

What outcomes are we looking for?

We are seeking to scale innovations that can mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to create impact on the following outcomes:

  • Older people have improved quality of life and well-being.
  • Older people have better networks and are less isolated.
  • Older people have increased self-efficacy and emotional resilience.

Apply now or read our FAQ for more information.

Social action to support resourceful and and resilient places

We are seeking to scale the best innovations that mobilise people aged 50+ using social action to support resourceful and resilient places.

What is this priority about?

Our experience has shown us that communities everywhere have untapped assets and creative potential. We also know that sometimes communities and neighbourhoods are best placed to respond to local priorities and needs. We believe these hidden talents and assets should be better used within communities, for the benefit of places.

We recognise that people aged 50+ can have extraordinary talent and experience, that is often of immense value to their neighbourhood and communities, but may often go unnoticed or untapped. We want to support the scaling of effective ways to share this experience and talent.

Digital technology is an integral part of many of these solutions, changing the way we connect to our neighbours and local community, and helping places better harness the time, talents and assets of local people. For example GoodSam a project backed by the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, is a mobile app and web platform that alerts trained responders (e.g. off duty doctors, nurses and paramedics) to nearby life-threatening emergencies. Web-enabled social action can also be a powerful tool to mass mobilise volunteers in a community crisis (for example floods in local areas), to crowdsource solutions or to encourage generosity amongst neighbours.

This a wide-ranging exciting field, with lots of possibilities as to how social action can play an important role in developing resourceful and resilient places. We are particularly interested in innovations that:

  • Support places and communities to take action in times of crisis or emergency. Examples include approaches that enable volunteers aged 50+ to come together and volunteer their time and expertise in extraordinary circumstances, where social action can make a real, immediate impact on people’s lives; or approaches that harness the skills and talents of people aged 50+ to better plan and prepare for emergencies and crisis.
  • Support places and communities to share their assets, skills and experiences for the good of others. Examples include approaches that enable people aged 50+ to share their skills and experience to solve local problems or enable their community to pull together to improve their area; or incentivising people with specialist skills to share skills through training, mentoring, skills exchanges and community action projects; approaches that enable greater collaboration between communities, citizens and public services to create impact.

What outcomes are we looking for?

We are seeking to scale innovations that can mobilise the time and talents of people aged 50+, through social action, to create impact on the following outcomes:

  • Communities are more resourceful and know how to draw on their local talents and assets for public good.
  • Communities are more resilient in times of crisis.
  • Assets within communities are shared and used creatively to create positive impact.

The deadline to submit an expression of interest is midday on the 31 October 2016. Apply now or read our FAQs for more information. If you have any questions not answered on the Second Half Fund webpages please email [email protected].