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Transform Ageing, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, was a pioneering programme taking a community and design-led approach to improve people’s experience of ageing.
Key to the ethos of Transform Ageing was sharing our learning, and today we launch our final evaluation report from the programme. Our abridged report brings together learning shared throughout the programme - with new data from our final evaluation delivered by the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, University of Northampton - on what worked and what we could do differently in the future.
Transform Ageing has demonstrated that people can do things differently and improve their communities.Cat Drew, Acting Joint Chief Executive, Design Council
As a result of the programme, social entrepreneurs:
- Reached 89,500 people in later life in the South West
- Generated £3.74 million in income each year
- Created 197 new jobs in the South West – 34 full time and 163 part time
- Engaged 818 volunteers in the delivery of their work.
- Furthermore, by using a design process which engaged people in later life, 46% of the social entrepreneurs we supported were people aged over 50.
UnLtd continues to work in the healthy ageing sector and to support social entrepreneurs to make a positive difference to the experience of later life.Roland Singer-Kingsmith, Impact Lead, UnLtd
Transform Ageing brought together people in later life, social entrepreneurs, and health and social care leaders to define, develop and deliver new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities.
COVID-19 has shown how valuable and needed this approach is:
- People in later life have been particularly disadvantaged by COVID-19, including by being required to shield for extended periods of time. There is a need to consider new ways to combat potential social isolation – a key outcome of Transform Ageing.
- Likewise, people in later life need to be involved in decision-making about services and products that they will use – we learnt about how to meaningfully do this through the course of the programmme.
- Finally, given the localised nature of the pandemic, there is a need to develop place-based partnership with local decision makers.
We’re proud of the impact of the Transform Ageing programme – it's a great example of how putting people in later life at the centre of the innovation process results in sustainable solutions that improve the lives of people across the region.Jon Siddall, Chief Executive Officer, South West Academic Health Science Network
This makes the learnings from Transform Ageing’s final evaluation even more relevant now to those considering undertaking or commissioning similar programmes.
The programme has been delivered through a partnership of Design Council, UnLtd, South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better. They brought together their specialisms on Transform Ageing, and their ongoing individual work builds on what we learnt from the programme.
“Design Council’s research on design for health and well-being has shown that community engagement is essential, not just finding out what communities want or need, but also supporting them to create change themselves. Transform Ageing has demonstrated that people can do things differently and improve their communities. The work we achieved in the south-west has led to Design Council receiving funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to develop and test the emergent concept of a Community Design Network programme, involving 20 diverse community groups or individuals across the UK”.
- Cat Drew, Acting Joint Chief Executive, Design Council
“UnLtd continues to work in the healthy ageing sector and to support social entrepreneurs to make a positive difference to the experience of later life. We are taking the lessons from Transform Ageing and applying them in how and who we work with. We continue to offer support, funding and investment packages for ventures specifically developing products and services to improve quality of life for older adults, and reduce health inequalities. Thrive: Solutions for an Ageing Society, our social accelerator for helping ambitious social ventures to scale, offers support for established ventures. If you are a social entrepreneur with an idea to start or grow a business, you can also apply for our early stage funding and support.”
- Roland Singer-Kingsmith, Impact Lead, UnLtd
“We’re proud of the impact of the Transform Ageing programme – it's a great example of how putting people in later life at the centre of the innovation process results in sustainable solutions that improve the lives of people across the region and generate economic growth. We look forward to using the insight and learning from the programme to inform our continued efforts to spread innovative practice in health and care across the South West.”
- Jon Siddall, Chief Executive Officer, South West Academic Health Science Network
You can find out more about Transform Ageing, as well as learning and assets from the programme, here.
Download the full evaluation report here.