Design Council is delighted to announce that we have received £3.65M from the Big Lottery Fund to take a pioneering design-led approach to improving people's experience of life as they age.  

We are grateful to be one of three landmark programmes that sets out to challenge traditional notions of ageing. Using innovation and design, the overall aim is to enable older people to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives

Working alongside UnLtd, the South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better, our programme will bring together people in later life, social innovators and commissioners of health and care services to develop new solutions that better support the aspirations of their communities. Initially based in the South West of England, the programme represents a new model for people-centred innovation that could transform our response to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing nation across the UK. 

We need to create a system that is more personalised, more connected and more preventative.

John Mathers, Chief Executive, Design Council

Design Council CEO, John Mathers said: "We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this funding for a truly ground-breaking programme that has been more than two years in the making. We need to create a system that is more personalised, more connected and more preventative. The programme will show that by embracing collaboration, innovation and social action, we can design a better response to what matters to people as they prepare for and experience later life".

 The other programmes to receive funding from the Big Lottery Fund include:

Nesta - £5.48 million to support eight innovations to mobilise communities across the UK. This includes local user-led groups to support people affected by strokes or respiratory conditions, an app to allow off-duty medical professionals to respond to life threatening medical emergencies, and a scheme to recruit volunteers to get fit while reducing isolation for older people in their neighbourhood.

The Age of No Retirement - £499,740 to help create a world where age does not matter. It will use user-led design to generate insights, implement new ideas, and share positive stories about how everyone can aspire to a more fulfilled and purposeful older age. 

Together the programmes aim to help create a society where older people are more valued and play a more active role in the decisions that affect their lives, as well as developing a new positive narrative about ageing.

We’re currently preparing, with our partners, to launch the programme later this summer/autumn and look forward to sharing further news with you over the coming months. Our thanks to everyone who has supported this initiative over the past few years.


For more information please contact:

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive news and event updates from Design Council.

Sign up