The Transform Ageing programme took a community and design-led approach to improve people’s experience of ageing. It brought together people in later life, their friends, family, carers, social entrepreneurs and public sector leaders to define, develop and deliver new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.
As we approach the conclusion of the programme, we reflect on our experiences and learning.
What we did
Launched in 2017, and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, Transform Ageing is led by Design Council, alongside UnLtd, the South West Academic Health Science Network, and the Centre for Ageing Better.
Over 3 years we have been seeking to foster innovation through:
Through this way of working we were able to:
46% of the social entrepreneurs supported in the programme are aged over 50 and have created hundreds of jobs. This suggests we have succeeded in supporting a local market of non-statutory services to meet the needs of local people in later life.
What we learned
Early next year, we will be sharing our full evaluation of the programme in which we’ll explore its impact and the achievements of the social entrepreneurs. Having wrapped up delivery, we first wanted to review what we had learned about the different approaches we used to foster innovation.
Alongside successes, we encountered some challenges. The health and social care sector in the South West has evolved over the life of the programme and people’s needs changed with it. We needed to have a support offer which could adapt and respond to those changes, and programme structures which gave us space to do that.
In particular, we found that
What we’d do differently next time
We suggest the following recommendations to others looking to foster innovation in complex systems:
In January 2020, we will produce our final evaluation to better understand the implications of this for the people we supported. We will bring that together with learning from four programmes supporting social entrepreneurs developing solutions for an ageing society in the last 3 years, to share what we have learnt so far and what it means for our future plans.
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We host a series of events throughout the UK each year. From classes and conferences, seminars and workshops to networking events and training sessions.
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