Back in June, Crowdfunder and Legal & General joined forces to find and fund some amazing projects that are amplifying life for those aged 55 and over, with £50,000 worth of extra funding up for grabs.
To be in with the chance of winning an allocated £5,000, the project needed to either be led by someone over the age of 55, or impact life those aged 55 years and above. We searched far and wide for social enterprises, community groups, businesses and ideas that fit the bill, and after a period of coaching from the Crowdfunder team, we’re pleased to introduce our Community Legends!
Chris Knight, Chief Executive Officer at Legal & General Retail Retirement, said, “We’re a company that is totally committed to improving the lives of older people, so we’re delighted to support Crowdfunder’s Community Legends project. All of the 10 organisations that we have selected to help are true legends in their communities. They all have amazing stories to tell about how they help their communities and we wish them the best of luck in their fundraising activities.”
The aim of the game now for the winning projects is to crowdfund as much as possible, unlocking more of their allocated £5,000 each step of the way.
The Community Legends
This husband and wife duo of 70 and 74 have set up a charity, the Britannia Sailing Trust, and are now working in the middle of Devon with a group of fellow 70 year olds – with occasional help from a 65 year old. They have rescued an old sailing ship (103 years old!) and intend to, once Britannia is launched, sail the coast of Devon, going to events and festivals and raising awareness of climate change and ocean pollution. They also want to attract older people that are socially isolated, ex-mariners who may be on their own, and work inter-generationally with young people who can learn traditional skills from the experience of the older generation.
Vicki from Britannia Sailing Trust said, “If we are successful with our crowdfunding appeal, it will enable our project to progress quickly as we will not be set back by having to raise funds for materials. It will also help to spread the word about our aims and maybe encourage other funders or private donors to support us! At our age, time is very valuable and we don’t have any time to waste! The funds promised from L&G are a wonderful opportunity for us to raise more than our target and give an incentive to our supporters to maybe give a little bit extra.”
Set up in 2010, this social enterprise brings older and younger people together to create stronger communities. Their work focuses on creating shared sites or centres for all ages, where older and younger people can undertake activities separately and together, mixing and sharing experiences. They are crowdfunding for 500 shared sites to be set up by the end of 2023.
Stephen from United for All Ages said, “Crowdfunding will help make our dreams come true. A lot of people see pictures of children from nurseries mixing with older people in care homes and say it should happen everywhere. We are now making that happen and the funds will help create 500 centres for all ages across the country by 2023. L&G’s support provides added value to the crowdfunding donations and gives our appeal extra credibility.”
Advantages of Age are challenging the negative media narrative around getting older. Based in London, this social enterprise works daily on their quest to create connections between fellow ‘olders’ across the globe. Isolation, a loss of earning capacity and a sense of social seclusion is prevalent in older generations and they encourage their members to reach their creative and career goals while promoting social engagement.
Suzanne from Advantages of Age said, “Advantages of Age are keen to challenge negative media attitudes towards getting older. Funds raised through our Crowdfunder campaign will give older people the opportunity to meet up and have fun while enabling us to enlarge our member base. We’re delighted that Legal and General can help us to promote senior social connection and creativity.”
This registered charity supports the over 60s in affording a rescue pet companion; tackling loneliness for the individual and homelessness for the animal. Over and above financial support, they have recently expanded their charitable aims to launch a new project, Companionship in the Community, which offers a safe community space with social and canine companionship to the over 60s.
Louise from Give a Dog a Bone said, “Through crowdfunding, we hope to gain enough funds to allow us to open a second community space in Scotland. Our first ‘Companionship in the Community’ project space opened in January in Glasgow and has been a huge success. We hope to unlock enough support to open a second space in another part of Scotland. Extra funds from L&G will act as an incentive for people to support and, of course, top up our funds.”
Blume tackles employability in old age by finding paid, flexible work for older people using a gig economy platform.
Alexander from Blume Life said, “What do we hope to gain from crowdfunding? Well, money of course! But I also hope we can recruit an army of Blume champions who like what we’re trying to do and will support us. It’s lovely when people get enthused by what we’re doing, especially when we have our difficult days. The extra funds from L&G will free up our time to start finding work for the incredible array of Blumers we have signed up. It will also give us a real boost to know that people are prepared to back our project with their own money.”
Newquay Community Orchard are looking to kit out their community workshop to allow their social mentoring programmes to flourish, including an over 65s mentoring scheme that links skilled, socially isolated retirees with individuals that are suffering high levels of deprivation. The mentors will provide life skills and a wealth of knowledge, enabling marginalised members of the community to make sustained changes in their lives to get back into work or education.
Luke from Newquay Community Orchard said, “The crowdfund will provide much needed exposure for our project, particularly from an extended partnership perspective nationally. The financial backing from the immediate community, which acts as a market research tool, will also provide confidence in the project and in our ability to seek future funding. Having run two very successful crowdfunding campaigns before, we value the process as an indicator that we are fulfilling the wants and needs of the community that we serve. The extra funds from L&G will provide the much needed equipment within our community workshop. This facility is integral to the success of our planned mentoring scheme which matches retired skilled socially isolated mentors with disengaged young people. Without it we would have to scale back our ambition, and the numbers of people we can support, considerably.”
With the pension deficit and a nation that is living for longer, there is an opportunity for the over 55’s to earn extra money by providing child care services. Looking to create an app and online portal called granparentsforhire, parents will be able to use the app and see if there is a match who they can then contact and arrange a meeting.
Mike from Granny4Hire said, “Through crowdfunding, I hope to get valuable feedback on the idea, the funds to get the idea off the ground – the more money, I raise the better the app will be! The extra funds from L&G will benefit the project in two ways: more money to put into the technology and fantastic exposure from one of the largest financial institutions.”
This community group is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with dementia in their community. Much of their work is about helping people and families that are living with dementia to access and feel included in all aspects of community life, in turn reducing social isolation.
Heather from Honiton Dementia Action Alliance said, “Honiton Dementia Action Alliance brings together people in fun and friendship from across our community. Our ‘Action on Rural Dementia’ initiative aims to help families living with dementia in the most rural parts of East Devon benefit from the valuable support our social groups can offer. The extra funds on offer from L&G will be a huge boost to what we can achieve. £5,000 will enable us to have use of a minibus with disabled access for 1 day a week for a year. £10,000 would mean 2 minibuses for a year allowing 30 people to access our groups. We cannot underestimate how much benefit this would give to people living with dementia in our very rural community and we are extremely grateful to have been offered this wonderful opportunity.”
This project will allow people over the age of 55 who live in rural isolation to come together and use their creative skills to produce art and craft products that will then be sold through the local producer markets. If successful, 50% of the profits will fund the project and the other 50% will be donated to local charities whom the beneficiaries want to support.
Nikki from Creative Ageing said, “Work Skills South West hopes to raise enough funds through crowdfunding to purchase a dedicated creative workshop for the elderly living in rural isolation to come together and be inspired into joining a range of activities designed to promote mental stimulation and wellbeing through the arts. The workshop is a truly unique design and will be a wonderful place for people to meet and be creative. The extra funds from L&G will allow us to equip the workshops with all the artistic materials the participants will need to get their project firmly underway.”
• Ready to get started with your own Crowdfunder project? Start crowdfunding here.