‘Transform Ageing’ event – Beaford, 26th April.

COMMUNITY-LED PROGRAMME IN TORRIDGE AND BARNSTAPLE SUPPORTED BY NATIONAL LOTTERY FUNDING AIMS TO TRANSFORM THE EXPERIENCE OF AGEING.

A pioneering new programme is looking to harness the full potential of local communities in Devon to transform the experience of ageing and create a legacy for people in later life.

Transform Ageing’, which is supported by £3.65m in National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, is taking a community and design-led approach to enhancing people’s experience of ageing across the South West.

The programme aims to bring together people in later life, their friends and families, social entrepreneurs and health and care leaders and catalyse new ways of working. The programme will reframe and redefine the opportunities and challenges facing communities and stimulate innovative product and service solutions that will support a healthy and active later life.

Local communities across the county are being invited to participate in an event in Beaford Village Hall, Beaford, EX19 8LU, on Wednesday 26 April where they can share their thoughts and ideas. Those interested in participating can book a place at: www.designcouncil.org.uk/transform-ageing

Transform Ageing is being delivered through a partnership led by Design Council, a leading authority on the use of strategic design to tackle major societal challenges, together with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the South West Academic Health Science Network, and the Centre for Ageing Better. It is also being supported locally on the ground by Devon Communities Together.

Clare Devine, Executive Director for Architecture, Built Environment & Design at Design Council, said:

The UK is undergoing a demographic shift with potentially far reaching consequences for society, the economy and public service provision. A vastly improved life expectancy – one of the greatest triumphs of the previous century – looks set to be one of the great challenges of this one.

A fresh approach is needed – one which unleashes real imagination and broad collaboration to design and develop innovative new solutions and reduce demand for services, tackle causes rather than symptoms and help people be better prepared for the opportunities and challenges of later life. Those in later life, their network of family, friends and carers have invaluable life experiences and insight. We need to draw on this to inspire innovative ideas for new products and services in those areas that most need them.”

Elaine Cook, Chief executive of the local charity Devon Communities Together, said: “We are very excited to be part of this unique project. We know that the communities of Barnstaple and rural Torridge feel very passionately about local health and welfare services, and that there is also a very entrepreneurial culture in the area; This project is all about bringing those forces for change together and providing the resources and support to help them find creative solutions to make a real difference to our shared experience of ageing.”

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