Wisdom Bank

The wisdom bank provides a platform for people approaching retirement to share their skills and insights with those that need their advice.

The site has three main feature:

  • Find-allows people to find others who may be able to help through their personal experiences you can search based on; wisdom that the person wishes to share, profession, skills and interests even personality traits.
  • Share-offers a platform to share the transferable skills an individual has to offer such as how to care for an older relative as you age.
  • Connect- to link with others to capitalise on the ‘wealth of unused wisdom out there’ such as Doris who asked for interviewing hints and tips and received a wealth of comments in return from experienced professionals.

Results from a large collaborative pilot involving 90 people from 10 countries illustrate the importance and appeal of wisdom bank. Details of these results can be found here

For more information see: http://www.wisdombank.org.uk/

A video describing the Wisdom bank and how it can benefit you can be found here


Trading Times

TradingTimesLogoTrading Times is an online service matching carers with local businesses who need short term, flexible, paid work. The service is being prototyped in Barnet from March 2013.
Trading Times provides carers with access to numerous roles which are short term or highly flexible to fit around their caring responsibilities. The Trading Times site includes an email helpline, carer chat forums, success stories and a guidance library. Carers and employers are also able to add performance-related feedback to each other’s profiles. Signing up is free to carers and paid for on a transactional basis by employers.
Trading Times makes flexible work easier – very important to the 72% of 670,000 carers in the UK who report they are worse off financially, with many struggling to make ends meet.  
For more information see: http://www.tradingtimes.org.uk/ and a video.

NEDExchange encouraging retired people to become non-executive directors

NEDExchangeLogoThe Non-Executives Director Exchange is a platform that helps companies find a highly skilled individual to serve as a non-executives director – for free.

UK Companies are increasingly employing non-executive directors to provide experienced independent advice and guidance to help them succeed. Many of the most suitable candidates are older people, recently retired and looking for a new challenge. The platform matches such people with companies that need their skills.

Non-Executive Directors could do a few hours a month or many hours a week depending on the role. For some it is an opportunity to give back, for others an opportunity to earn additional income, for others an opportunity to use their skills in a new sector.
For more information see: http://www.nedexchange.co.uk/what_are_neds.html

The National Retirement Service

NationalRetirementServiceLogoThe National Retirement Service is a new service planned to equip people with the information, networks, resilience, and opportunities they need to continue purposeful activity post-retirement.
The brainchild of Nat Wei and backed by the Shaftesbury Partnership, it will aim to improve the economic outcomes, health, and wellbeing of both the individual and their community, during a major life transition – from work to retirement.
Participants will have the opportunity to build social capital with networks of peers, while learning about the challenges of later life and exploring how they can use their existing skills – or new ones – to continue purposeful activity and connect with their communities.
The scheme is currently being designed and is due to be piloted in summer 2013.
For more information see: http://www.shaftesburypartnership.org/ventures/national-retirement-service and Nat Wei’s blog


HorsesmouthLogoHorsesmouth.co.uk is a safe, moderated online venue for informal one-to-one mentoring covering all the important aspects of life, from health and wellbeing to career choices, employability and business support.
It has over 45,000 registered members aged 16-76, of whom around 25,000 are profiled and approved as mentors. To date the site has facilitated and hosted over 200,000 supportive relationships between individuals.
Many of the mentors are older people keen to share their skills (for example mentors to apprentices on the National Apprenticeships Service or mentors who have been carers supporting those caring for someone with dementia.
For more information: http://www.horsesmouth.co.uk/


primelogoThe Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) is a national organisation dedicated to providing everyone over 50, who is unemployed or under threat of redundancy, with the support to achieve financial, social and personal fulfilment through sustainable self-employment.

PRIME was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in response to the number of letters he was receiving from people desperate to work but unable to find anyone to employ them because of their age.

PRIME supports over 50s in the UK to become self-employed and in doing so utilise the skills and experiences they have built up over a lifetime of work. It offers workshops, advice, mentors and regular networking opportunities to help senior entrepreneurs to take the next steps to develop their own businesses and social enterprises.

For more information see: http://www.prime.org.uk/

NANA cafe

NanaLogoNANA is a comfort food and community cafe run by older ladies from the local area. For older ladies it’s a chance to get out the house, meet new people, and put a lifetime worth of skills to good use, and for everyone else it’s a place to enjoy proper hearty home cooked food at a reasonable price.

Retirement is great for some, but others miss the sense of purpose, achievement and social interaction that comes through work, and would like to continue to be active, and make new local connections.  NANAs (older ladies in the local area) volunteer at least five hours of their time a week to make and serve food in a local café, or teach small groups in the afternoons.  After three months of commitment, they become part of the NANA partnership. This means a percentage of the profits are shared between them every four months. Some people are using this to supplement their pensions, others are going to give it to charity.

The first NANA café opened in The Elderfield Pub (normally closed during the day) in Clapton, East London, in November 2012. Six NANAs are cooking at the cafe, supported by others running sessions, serving and volunteering to support  recruitment and  communications.

Plans for the future include recruiting more NANAs, developing a franchise model to roll out more NANA cafes, and perhaps even developing NANA branded merchandise like tea-towels and jam!

For more information: http://www.facebook.com/wearenana , http://wearenana.com/

Aintree Hospital End of Life Care Volunteers

Aintree Hospital has a well-established volunteer programme, which began in 1997 with volunteers acting as listeners and guides for relatives in A&E. In an average week 800 volunteers provide over 3200 hours of voluntary service in the hospital performing tasks like sitting with patients who need company, serving refreshments and signposting relatives. The service has very high retention rates of volunteers and also acts as a way back to work for many – with volunteers who have served from more than 100 hours having access to a ring fenced interview for any Healthcare Assistant posts in the hospital. Many of the volunteers are older people.

The hospital is currently prototyping a volunteer service on five palliative care wards. Since May 2012, 20 very experienced volunteers have worked with more than 71 patients and their families to provide companionship, comfort and support. Feedback from an initial survey of patients and their relatives has been overwhelmingly positive.

The scheme is being replicated at The Royal Hospital, Liverpool.  Aintree are also hoping to expand the service onto wards with dementia patients, using a reminiscence garden and other features to help stir memory and reduce agitation.

For more information see: http://www.aintreehospitals.nhs.uk/careers_at_aintree/voluntary_work.asp

After Work Club

A club for recently retired men to use their skills in the community

It is well documented that people retiring from office-based and professional jobs often lose the relationships and networks they built up during their working life, after they retire. Men are particularly at risk of losing these connections and as such becoming isolated, bored, and losing self-esteem despite still having useful skills and experience.


The After Work Club is a new start-up to mobilise  retired men to use their skills to make positive changes in their wider community. Men who join  are able to reclaim a sense of personal value and purpose, reduce their risk of social isolation and equip themselves to be better able to face the challenges of ageing. The After Work Club is focused on people who are retired from business with, for example, problem-solving skills, rather than DIY or other more manual tasks. It’s first trial is starting in Spring 2013.

For more information see: http://theafterworkclub.co.uk