Unleashing potential to improve later life

Unleashing potential to improve later life

A pioneering new programme is hoping to harness the full potential of social entrepreneurs to transform the experience of our ageing society, and create a legacy for people in later life.

#TransformAgeing, which is supported by National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, is focused on ideas and innovation to enhance people’s experience of ageing across the South West. The initiative aims to bring together people in later life, their friends and families, social entrepreneurs and health and care leaders to inspire new ways of working together.

Redefining opportunities

It is hoped that the programme will reframe and redefine the opportunities and challenges facing communities and stimulate innovative product and service solutions that will support a healthy and active later life.

Transform Ageing is being delivered through a partnership led by the Design Council, a leading authority on the use of strategic design to tackle major societal challenges, together with UnLtd, the UK’s leading supplier of support for Social Entrepreneurs, the South West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better. It is also being supported locally on the ground by a series of South West-based delivery partners.

Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO, said: “This new partnership will help to support and inspire social entrepreneurs who are addressing key issues older people experience. The partners bring expertise in the health and social care sector and a profound understanding of the communities they support. We’re excited at the prospect of working together to find leaders with dynamic solutions to redefine the experience of ageing.”

It was launched to local audiences at the end of April.

Clare Devine, Executive Director for Architecture, Built Environment & Design at the Design Council, said: “The UK is undergoing a demographic shift with potentially far reaching consequences for society, the economy and public service provision. A vastly improved life expectancy – one of the greatest triumphs of the previous century – looks set to be one of the great challenges of this one.

“A fresh approach is needed – one which unleashes real imagination and broad collaboration to design and develop innovative new solutions and reduce demand for services, tackle causes rather than symptoms and help people be better prepared for the opportunities and challenges of later life.

“Those in later life, their network of family, friends and carers have invaluable life experiences and insight. We need to draw on this to inspire innovative ideas for new products and services in those areas that most need them.’ Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director, Big Lottery Fund, said: “This valuable programme will create opportunities for people to better connect in the later years of life and shape the services available to them. We’re excited to see the positive outcomes the project will bring to transform perceptions of ageing, and enable people to lead longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives.”


Following April’s launch events, the Transform Ageing team are leading a series of design-focused workshops which will help people understand the opportunities in the community. Social entrepreneurs will respond to these locally identified opportunities and challenges and award funding is available to support the development and scaling of their ideas. The funding will also create a legacy in the form of a National Knowledge and Learning Network for communities to draw upon and apply the learnings and experience gained in the South West, including Cornwall.

For more information on the programme and its funding opportunities, visit
https://unltd.org.uk or telephone Sam Alford, Award Manager: 078 6059 5912