Life Reimagined is a web platform that helps people to re-evaluate their skills and pursue new ambitions. It brings together a whole range of experts in personal development, ageing and transitions to guide positive life changes from new employment opportunities to improving one’s health.
It does this through a personalised guidance system that involves six practices that help to guide personal change;
- Reflecting on the stage that you are currently at in your life and your feelings about it
- Connecting with others to share your ideas of change and learn their perspectives and experiences
- Exploring thinking honestly about the road you could take in life
- Choosing the direction you wish to take
- Repacking ones priorities in order to take the steps necessary to achieve this new direction
- Acting on the steps needed for action
For more information see: http://lifereimagined.aarp.org/how-it-works
For a video on their work see; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT7eTMW1EDE
Vintage communities bring people together to find local solutions to local problems.
Staff at Vintage Communities work intensively in small areas (usually a ward or smaller) for 6-9 months. They gather enthusiasts, older people, local representatives of clubs and societies together, and act as a facilitator to help the group map their local assets and problems. Older people in the group then take the lead on designing and delivering new initiatives to improve their community.
The first Vintage Community was set up in Balham in 2011 where the group has hosted a street party and an event where neighbours show what they have to offer to others for example cooking, dog walking and teaching a foreign language.
The ultimate goal is for the community group itself to function independently, and so in time staff at Vintage Communities move on to support another community to get started.
For more information see:
For a video detailing their work in Balham;
Exploring retirement is a free online magazine dedicated to promoting an active, rewarding and healthy retirement lifestyle.
The website features lifestyle articles on wellbeing in retirement as well as recent research, for example on the psychology of retirement and activities most strongly linked to wellbeing improvements.
Their aim is to empower those who are retiring with information to make informed choices.
For further information see: http://www.exploringretirement.co.uk/
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
Between 2009 and 2011 UnLtd ran a two year programme, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to support 30 people starting social ventures that positively address issues of an ageing society in England and Wales. Awards were open to people of all ages, but the over 50s made up the majority of the cohort.
The Engage Entrepreneurs set up ventures which mainly provided people-and time-intensive services to improve older people’s health and wellbeing. Four ventures received additional support after initial success including ThinkLife, reminiscence workshops for people with dementia in care homes; Project Pigeon, workshops based around a pigeon-fancier’s loft; Menopause Self Care, training and resources to help women through the menopause; and grannynet.co.uk, a grandparents’ website. Two were run by people over 50, two by younger people.
The findings from the project and Age Unlimited programme to back older entrepreneurs have been captured in a toolkit ROOTED.
For more information: http://unltd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Engage-Final-report.pdf
The 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 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
Originally developed in Australia, this programme creates an opportunity for men of all ages to meet and make things together in a relaxed setting designed to feel like a shed.
‘Sheds’ around the country are equipped with woodwork tools and managed by volunteers who put on a range of activities, often around designing, recycling and making. The ‘sheds’ provide a space for men to meet up to use their existing skills, learn new skills or just put the world to rights over a cup of tea.
There are Men in Sheds projects around the country including some organised by Age UK, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, targeted at engaging older men who are often less connected in groups than women.
The model has been successful at connecting men who may not normally go to organised activities, as well as supporting older men who feel isolated or are going through major life changes such as bereavement.
For more information see: http://www.menssheds.org.uk
See also Tools Company
Encore Careers retrains and matches thousands of older people (50 years plus) each year who want to transition out of the corporate sector and into a second or an ‘encore career’, often in the non-profit or public sector.
Encore careers combine personal fulfilment, social impact and continued income, enabling older workers to put their passion to work for the greater good in the second half of life.
The US based organisation also supports older people to start new social enterprises or charities which use innovative new approaches to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges – like homelessness, isolation and obesity.
For more information see: www.encore.org