Big Lottery Fund
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£9.5 million to design new solutions for the UK’s ageing population

Three landmark projects using innovation and design to enable older people to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives, and challenge traditional notions of ageing have received £9,579,740 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The schemes will put older people at the heart of creating new solutions to meet their needs and ambitions. This could be new services or technologies that enable communities to work together to reduce loneliness and isolation, or help people independently access support and information to improve their physical health.

The number of people aged 65 or over is projected to rise by more than 40 per cent in the next 17 years to over 16 million, and by 2040 nearly one in four people in the UK will be aged 65 or over.*

The projects aim to help create a society where older people are more valued and can play a more active role in the decisions that affect their lives, as well as developing a new, more positive narrative about ageing.

Nesta has received £5.48 million to support eight innovations to mobilise people and communities across the UK to address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population. This includes local user-led groups to support people affected by strokes or respiratory conditions, an app to allow off-duty medical professionals to respond to life threatening medical emergencies and a scheme to recruit volunteers to get fit while reducing isolation for older people in their neighbourhood.

The Age of No Retirement has received £499,740 for a social innovation project bringing together different groups – business, government, the media and the general public – to help create a world where age does not matter. It will use user-led design and approaches to generate insights, implement new ideas and share positive stories about how everyone can aspire to a more fulfilled and purposeful older age. This will be supported by an online crowdsourcing platform launching on 19 May, as well as networks and events, to enable people to share ideas and develop these into practical solutions.

Design Council has received £3.65 million for a programme taking a pioneering design-led approach to improving people’s experience of life as they age. Working alongside UnLtd, theSouth West Academic Health Science Network and the Centre for Ageing Better, it will bring together people in later life, social innovators and commissioners of health and care services to define, develop and deliver new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of their communities. Initially based in the South West of England, the programme represents a new model for people-centred innovation that could transform responses to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing nation across the UK.

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