Above all, this programme has the potential to deliver new, scalable and sustainable solutions that meet the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities across the UK.

Rt Hon Prof. Paul Burstow, former Minister of State for Care


Background: An ageing population

A vastly improved life expectancy – one of the great triumphs of the previous century – looks set to be one of the great challenges of this one. 

The UK is undergoing a demographic shift that will have far-reaching consequences for society, the economy and public service provision.

For the first time Britain’s over 65s outnumber people under the age of 16. By 2020, the Office for National Statistics predicts that people aged over 50 will make up almost one third (32%) of the workforce and nearly half (47%) the adult population. These demographic trends and the resulting impact on public finance are unprecedented.

The implications for an ageing society affect all of us, across generations and will touch every part of our lives, presenting challenges for individuals, families, communities, employers, service providers and government. Responding to the needs of people in later life is one of society’s most crucial and growing issues.

We need to think in a radically different way, using the lived experience of people in later life, collaboration and community engagement to better understand their needs and wants for an improved later life.

We are looking for innovations that help us, as we age – to stay active, happy, healthy and connected.

What will the programme achieve?

Over the three years of the programme, Transform Ageing will demonstrate that combining social entrepreneurship and community action with world class design practice can drive positive change, responding to the challenge of our ageing society.

The programme aims to ensure that the best innovations reach people in later life as quickly as possible and positively transform their experience of ageing.

Will Transform Ageing happen elsewhere?

Once Transform Ageing has been successfully rolled out in the south-west we will aim to replicate it in other areas of the country.

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What’s happened so far

We have worked closely with communities in Cornwall, North Devon, Somerset and Torbay to understand what people need and want, what would improve their experience of ageing and what would make a difference to their day-to-day lives.

Recognising that those with first-hand experience provide unique insight, we brought together groups of people in later life, their friends, families and carers, social entrepreneurs and public-sector leaders in each of the four locations and worked with them collaboratively on their selected ageing challenge.

This research and insight has led to the development of six innovation briefs:

  1. Steps to a positive future
  2. Mobility and transport
  3. Life transitions
  4. Caring about carers
  5. Right information, right time
  6. Making connections

A number of social entrepreneurs have already successfully responded to the innovation challenge and through Transform Ageing will now receive funding and support to deliver lasting social impact in the region. Click here to view the full list of awardees.  

To read the briefs in full please download the Call for Applications document.

Applications to the programme are currently closed. If you would like more information on the programme, please contact Jo Gajtkowska, Head of Social Innovation.


Latest news

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

Watch: Transform Ageing – Discover the impact of NEDcare NEDCare is delivering a lasting solution for ageing communities and providing a better solution for people in later life. It aims to help other communities create the same level of engagement locally by meeting GP services, pharmacies, parish council and community groups like the Women’s Institute. Our award winner is delivering a lasting solution for ageing communities and providing a better solution for people in later life.

Feature — 13/11/2018

Down the rabbit hole: Transform Ageing’s journey into system change Charlotte Burrows is Social Innovation Programme Manager at Design Council. Here, she discusses our Transform Ageing learning journey on system change. Charlotte Burrows, Social Innovation Programme Manager at Design Council, discusses our Transform Ageing learning journey on system change.

Feature — 11/07/2018