The Big Lunch

The Big Lunch aims to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. In 2013 the Big Lunch date is Sunday 2 June.

Since starting in 2009 with the backing of the Eden Project, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of community across the UK. In 2012 8.5million people took part. Big Lunch has had a particular impact connecting older people to their neighbours.

Diabetes Sisters and Sister Match game, USA

AyogoDiabetes Sisters works across North America to support women with diabetes, mostly over 50. Users sign up and are paired with a similar person to support them on their journey of managing diabetes.
Using games to improve participation and learning in social schemes is well proven to improve uptake and retention. Ayogo have recently developed a game to help the matching process.
SisterMatch1The Sister Match quilt game gets users to share stories as they sign up to the service in exchange for virtual rewards in the form of quilt blocks’. The information helps identify good matches with other players. And the faces of matches are also displayed as blocks in the virtual quilt, building up over time into a rich representation of activity and friendship.

Silverline, Singapore

SilverlineSingTelLogoProject Silverline gives free smartphones to older people with simple to use apps already loaded, that will enhance their independence.
Project Silverline is a corporate responsibility project run by SingTel, a mobile telecom company based in Singapore with 416 million customers in the Far East. It loads donated smartphones with five apps co-developed with and for older people, and matches each phone donated with a year’s free service.

SilverLineCrowdFund Silverline is also raising funds through crowdfunding to take the programme internationally. Initial focus is on US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, with the applications available in English and Mandarin Chinese.

Red and Yellow Care

RedYellowlogoRed and Yellow Care are creating a dementia care home of the future – with purpose-built housing as well as state-of-the-art medical, nursing and personal care for people at all stages of the condition.

The dementia community hasn’t been built yet but the housing will be vibrant, full of light and connected to the outside world to improve cognition. The community will also be an active hub for research, education and training in dementia, partnering with local schools and other public and private institutions to make a significant contribution to the national agenda.

Odessey CareAssess

OdysseyLogoOdessey CareAssess is a software package that helps carers and clinicians in care homes assess and diagnose patients.

It works on a tablet. If a resident appears unwell an assessment supported by Odyssey CareAssess is initiated. If the resident needs a GP visit or visit to hospital then a summary of the initial assessment can be sent automatically ahead of time.

A trial of Odessey CareAssess in a dementia care home in Coventry showed that staff using the system felt increasingly confident in making key decisions about a resident’s care. Results quickly showed a 75% reduction in GP call-outs; local NHS data showed a 42% reduction in hospitalisation.

Gransnet Local

GransnetLogoGransnet’s website supports grandparents with news and information. It plans to create an app for mobiles/tablets that allows their website users to connect to each other and to local information.
Lively online forums are a low-pressure route for people to interact and share around their particular interests, whether TV shows, gardening, or books. People who have met online have already started meeting in the real world.
Gransnet want to create a mobile/tablet app to support more peer-to-peer networking, on the move, with local information and support. 80 local organisers are being recruited to run local websites, with a local app for each, providing support, information, advice and friendship for local people and giving those currently offline a reason to get connected. It will offer people an open-ended way to engage – chatting, complaining, supporting and exchanging information.
The Gransnet app will contain information on everything local, including NHS services, peer-to-peer health support, cultural events, local authority consultations and local campaigns, volunteering and job opportunities.

Belong villages

BelongLogoBelong villages are specially designed communities to support older people to age well.
Building design and layout supports easy orientation and ‘visibility’, secure access to the outdoors and proximity to a range of village amenities open to the public. Colours used in internal decoration improve cognition. And amongst other things staff don’t wear uniforms, residents get involved in cooking and gardens can be tended by residents and staff.
Residents can choose the type of home, depending on the support and care they need. Over time, they can choose to increase that level of support, from respite care, to rehabilitation, to specialist dementia care.
Belong villages include Atherton , Crewe, Wigan, Warrington, Macclesfield .

For more information see:


AsthmapolisLogoPeople with asthma can use Asthmapolis to monitor when and where they use their inhalers. A sensor fits over the end of the inhaler, and sends data to a smartphone, where users can see maps and timelines showing when they needed to use it.
AsthmapolisImageThis can also be shared with their doctor or pooled anonymously with others to help big data analysts identify environmental hot-spots that trigger asthma – whether related to weather, pollen, or other environmental factors. Asthmapolis can also help with research: a trial in Hawaii is using it help evaluate the effects of volcanic fog by aligning results against air monitoring. Asthmapolis was approved by the FDA in the USA in July 2012.



For the last 6 years, Alive! has been lighting up the lives of older people in care. Pioneers of using touchscreen technology with people living with dementia, Alive! works in over 350 care homes providing creative, meaningful activity sessions and training for care staff.

Alive! offer a range of interactive sessions designed to stimulate older people on all levels: cognitively, physically, creatively and emotionally. All activities focus on strengthening personal identities by connecting meaningful activities with individual life stories.

Alive! training courses run throughout the year, and offer care staff the opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise in a variety of specialist areas: touchscreen technology, dance, dementia, activities and reminiscence. Alive! training builds the capacity of care home staff to provide meaningful activity for their residents on a daily basis.

Twitter @aliveactivities