Over 135 people from around the UK will gather in London on the 27th February to celebrate the completion of Transform Ageing, a three year, National Lottery Community funded initiative designed to reimagine how we involve and bring together, people in later life, community organisations, social entrepreneurs and public sector leaders to innovate and create inclusive products and services for us all as we age.

At Design Council, we do a lot of work around an ageing society. As well as Transform Ageing, our built environment experts and design associates make up a professional network of over 450 specialists promoting the value and benefits of good inclusive design. Our Spark accelerator programme takes to market products to support people to continue to live independently in their homes and our Design in the Public Sector programme has supported over 70 teams to improve local government services, many of those serving people in later life.

Over the past week or two, we’ve also used this expertise to both convene and be part of several strategic sessions to support the dialogue on an ageing society. Our Chief Executive, Sarah Weir OBE, appeared before the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee giving evidence on how the role of technology can play helping older people maintain independence and Cat Drew, our Chief Design Officer, convened the Local Government Innovation Network to take a look at ‘why bother funding systems change’ using some of our learning from Transform Ageing to inform the debate.

And it’s timely also, that we are celebrating our successes, legacy and learning on Transform Ageing as part of this, through stories from those that were closest to it, panel discussions and three open sessions which take a sneak peek at how we might do things differently in the future to be speculative and dare I say, provocative in relation to what might come next in the later life landscape. 

So, we’ll be looking at answering questions like…

  • What’s coming up next in the field of ageing and later life?
  • What do we all need to do in order to fund successful place based, system wide initiatives more flexibly in the future?
  • How might we partner more effectively with people in later life as part of place-based approaches?
  • What would a future vision for later life look like? Who else becomes relevant to this future? What would they be doing?

What has made Transform Ageing different is that we aimed to work as part of a design-led, vibrant system, connecting partners in London with those in the south west of England. Those partners included, UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs, the South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better. None of this work would have been possible without our local community organisations who were our eyes and ears on the ground, facilitating connections and bringing together a range of assets from across the local system. And of course, enabling us to better work, side by side, with people in later life.

As part of the event, our ‘Spotlight on Torbay’ is where we’ll be hearing about how the programme has impacted in a positive way on the lives of some of our people in later life, social entrepreneurs and community organisations.

We’ll be taking the opportunity to launch our Final Report Executive Summary outlining the key insights, learning and evaluation from the programme.

It’s going to be a busy afternoon, one which for me will be tinged with joy, at what we have all achieved together and with some sadness, that the three years is over and that some of the close connections and friendships made will inevitably move on.  But above all, I shall be hopeful that we have made a difference and through our learning, we have paved the way for others to transform ageing too.

To be a part of this event join our livestream on Thursday 27 February at 2pm. It will be hosted on Facebook.com/designcouncil.

If you’d like to be part of a hopeful, inclusive dialogue about what comes next, please contact us at innovation@designcouncil.org.uk

Contact

For more information please contact:

Jo Gajtkowska, Head of Social Innovation (2018-2019)

Email: Tel:

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive news and event updates from Design Council.

Sign up

News & opinion

Why community-sourced solutions lead to better resident health Communities are in a strong position to know what they want out of healthcare solutions – knowledge that has the potential to drive successful and scalable user-centred design, writes Dr Matthew Dolman. Communities are in a strong position to know what they want out of healthcare solutions

Feature — 24/02/2020

Transform Ageing through Design Here are three films that demonstrate the impact social entrepreneurs are making in their communities and how we supported them to develop and deliver innovative product and service solutions. Here are three films that demonstrate the impact social entrepreneurs are making in their communities.

Feature — 25/09/2019

Watch: Transform Ageing – Later life is for living 56 projects and counting! We’re proud to present our new film celebrating how our Transform Ageing programme is designing a better experience for later life. We’re proud to present our new film celebrating how our Transform Ageing programme is designing a better experience for later life.

Feature — 25/04/2019

TickleFLEX: The Design Council Spark awardee whose device for diabetics has revolutionised... As someone with Type 1 diabetes, Peter Bailey is only too aware of the daily, often uncomfortable, challenges of self-injecting insulin. So he came up with the TickleFLEX, a product that controls the needle depth and blocks the pain pathways, and which saw him become a finalist of Design Council... 2016 finalist Peter Bailey talks about being diabetic, the power of positive feedback and why Spark was a springboard to his success.

Feature — 28/02/2019

Watch: Transform Ageing – Inside the Sewing Rooms Laura Scott is travelling to the South West to recruit 60 new Silver Sewers, who are aged over 50, to sew three banners representing the towns of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. Laura Scott is travelling to recruit new Silver Sewers, aged over 50, to sew three banners representing towns of the South West.

Feature — 10/12/2018

Watch: The social enterprise that will Transform Ageing for people with dementia – Memory Matters Kate Smith founded Memory Matters with her sister-in-law, Laura Walker. Both qualified nurses, they are passionate about turning the experience of people living with dementia into a positive one. Their experience in the healthcare sector showed them that this wasn't always the case. Memory Matters is a social enterprise set up to turn the experience of people living with dementia into a positive one.

Feature — 03/12/2018

Resources