Community-Led Programme Aims to Transform Our Experience of Ageing
A pioneering new health and social care programme in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall aims to give people in later life more choice and better services to improve their quality of life.
The SW AHSN supported the development of the initiative, which has been awarded £3.65m from the Big Lottery Fund. Transform Ageing will take a community and design-led approach to enhancing people’s experience of ageing. The aim is to harness the full potential of local communities and create a legacy for people in later life.
Four launch events took place in April across the South West, bringing together people in later life, their friends and families, social entrepreneurs and health and social care leaders to catalyse new ways of working. They were treated to a cream tea and some inspiring speakers, including Patrick Abrahams of Men’s Sheds, the Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Chair of Transform Ageing National Advisory Board and Trevor and Anna George from Paignton, a father and daughter who told stories from their many years of show business.
Transform Ageing is being delivered through a partnership led by Design Council, a leading authority on the use of strategic design to tackle major societal challenges, together with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the South West Academic Health Science Network, and the Centre for Ageing Better. It is also being supported locally on the ground by Volunteer Cornwall, Devon Communities Together, Community Council for Somerset and Torbay Community Development Trust.
Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director, Big Lottery Fund, said: ‘This valuable programme will create opportunities for people to better connect in the later years of life and shape the services available to them. We’re excited to see the positive outcomes the project will bring to transform perceptions of ageing and enable people to lead longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives.’
Following the launch events, a series of design-led workshops are now being held to fully understand the opportunities in each community. Social entrepreneurs will then be invited to respond to these opportunities and challenges, with award funding available to support the development and scaling of their ideas.
For more information on the programme visit the Transform Ageing website.