Social Entrepreneur Support Manager
29th September 2020
The Transform Ageing Programme was a large and ambitious programme, generously funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which set out to improve the experience of later life in the South West.
Delivered by 4 partner organisations (UnLtd, The Design Council, The South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better), it brought together social entrepreneurs, public sector leaders and local people in later life to identify and co-design solutions to some of the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasing ageing population.
Three years, 62 social entrepreneurs, £815K worth of grant funding and countless hours spent delivering business support and development sessions, the learning and social impact has been staggering and long lasting.
Within the three year period of delivery to September 2019, 89,500 older people had benefited from new products and services delivered by social entrepreneurs in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Torbay.
197 jobs were created and an additional £3.7 million generated, providing a valuable boost to local economies. Despite current difficulties created by the pandemic, the majority of these enterprises continue to be rooted in their communities and continue to actively support people in later life.
For example, Moments Café in Plymouth, which provides a dementia-friendly environment in the café and information hub for people and their families affected by dementia, provided invaluable virtual support throughout lockdown.
Their regular telephone calls and weekly newsletters ensured that their clients stayed well and connected to support services. Care Calls, an automated telephone prompt service to remind people to take their medication and carry out other essential tasks of daily living and The Personal Alarm Watch have similarly provided a lifeline to those shielding.
We learnt so much from this programme; from working with partners, local stakeholders and all of the people in later life themselves who so generously gave their time to engage in the programme.
As a result, we’ve gained critical insights such as the importance and value of lived experience, which now sits at the heart of our all of our work and helps to inform our journey to become a more inclusive and equitable organisation.
We also recognise the importance of understanding the local context and creating strong partnerships, to better support the development of responsive and sustainable socially enterprising solutions, and will shortly be publishing an evaluation report.
Whilst the delivery phase of the Transform Ageing programme has now finished, it’s legacy and impact in the Southwest continue.
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 offer a range of support, funding and investment packages bespoke around what you need as either a new start up, growing or scaling social enterprise.
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