The Big Lottery Fund has pledged £9.5m to three projects designed to “enable older people to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives”, to help tackle the UK’s ageing population.
According to a statement released today, the Big Lottery Fund has made £9.57m available to Nesta, the Age of No Retirement and the Design Council to help fund the three organisation’s “new services or technologies that enable communities to work together to reduce loneliness and isolation, or help people independently access support”.
Nesta has received £5.48m from BIG to support right “innovations to mobilise people and communities across the UK” to address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population. These projects include “user-led groups to support people affected by strokes or respiratory conditions” and an app to allow off-duty medical profession “to respond to life threatening medical emergencies”.
The Design Council has received £3.65m to work with a number of other organisations including the Centre for Ageing Better to “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”.
The Age of No Retirement has also received £499,740 to build an online crowdsourcing platform to enable people to share ideas and develop practical solutions to the ageing population. This is scheduled to launch on 19 May.
Dawn Austwick, chief executive of Big Lottery Fund, said: “These projects challenge existing notions of how we support older people. By involving them in designing new services and technologies, we are putting them in the driving seat and enabling them to reap the most benefit. This gives people a greater stake in their lives and communities, and delivers more personalised and sustainable approaches to health and social care.”
According to Big Lottery Fund and Age UK research: “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”.