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The Amazings - older adults share their skills

Who was involved?

  • Sidekick Studios, AgeUK East London
  • The Amazings

Aim

To create a service that supported people who were retired, or about to retire, stay active and connected in their community. Through initial research, it was apparent that older adults enjoyed mixing with younger people and didn't want to feel stuck in an age bracket. It was also clear that there were lots of talented and passionate older adults who were just as capable delivering these activities as they were taking part in them.

Why?

Research on social inclusion from the Design Council has shown that a lack of connectedness results in experiencing a level of exclusion from society. In a recent poll by the Technology Strategy Board, people cited a lack of social interaction and new opportunities as one of their greatest concerns in older age, and in too many instances, the social connections older adults have with their friends, families, neighbours and local communities reduce over time. Older adults need to keep connected, and social innovation is therefore a key part of improving later life.

Solution

The Amazings is a movement of passionate and able bodied older adults who share their skills, knowledge and passion by running activities in their local area. You have to be retired or about to retire to become an Amazing and run an activity, but anyone of any age can attend the events. The activities are managed and booked online through www.theamazings.org ��� by facilitating this initiative online, it is effective at involving the younger generations.

Activities on offer include everything from foraging and African drumming to hair styling.

At the end of every month, the Amazing is sent their earnings - 70% of the ticket price. What they do with the money is up to them - some people use it as a bit of extra pocket money, others are using it to raise money for their favourite charity.

Results

It's still early days, but there are some great figures already:

  • 17 Amazings on the books
  • 16 activites run
  • 87 attendees

And there's been a really positive reaction from people taking part:

"I thought about doing something like this before, but didn't really know if anyone would be interested in learning about foraging. Sometimes you need someone to give you a helping hand to get it going, give you the confidence to start something like this up."
"They were really happy with the class and I got some great feedback. If you don't mind me saying, I'm quite proud of myself!"

Background

The Amazings was a winner of the Keeping Connected Business Challenge - a national challenge for UK business to develop innovative services that keep older adults better connected. Teams of businesses and designers were invited to submit proposals for a share of ��495,000 of funding to develop their ideas for connecting older adults. For full details visit www.keepingconnected.co.uk

Keeping Connected is part of the Independence Matters initiative run by the Technology Strategy Board and the Design Council to encourage business-led innovation to help us all live independently for longer. This initiative is delivered through the Technology Strategy Board's Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP), which is responding to the needs of an ageing population ��� in essence promoting independence by making technology better, cheaper and more desirable.



Comments

3 people have had something to say so far

This is a lovely idea. It���d be great to see this start happening in other areas.
Posted on 20/01/12 17:01.
Things like this will help us start changing the meaning of ���retirement���. People often think that from that point onwards you���re old, but it���s just another phase of your life.
Posted on 25/01/12 15:18.
A superb idea. It should be great for helping break down inter-generational barriers.
Posted on 26/01/12 11:32.