Valuing Older People’s Contribution

Older people have lots to offer their communities and the economy but our culture and workplaces often overlook this potential.  Our group works together to understand and create opportunities for older people from all backgrounds to contribute in flexible ways which fit their needs for meaningful work and their needs for payment.

A Message from the Chair

Hannah McDowall, UnLtd

Hannah McDowall, UnLtd

Over the last year we have looked to break open the traditional models of older people’s volunteering, working, entrepreneurship and mentoring, and find out about other flexible models which allow for variable time commitment, a possibility of payment and different degrees of autonomy. We have looked at those already being used, and have thought about how our own models can be combined to bring innovative opportunities to older people.

Duncan Tree, CSV

Duncan Tree, CSV

Hannah and I jointly chair this group, bringing together members which have complimentary expertise in the different ways that older people can contribute to the economy and to society.

Current Focus

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We know that older people increasingly need to earn beyond retirement and also wish to do something they find fulfilling – so how can those needs me matched up to the needs of our communities for passionate active people with great ideas and great skills?

Our initial work has mapped out some of the gaps in current opportunities. Now we are hunting out examples of best practice and tools for making opportunities available.

Members of the group are building understanding about the range of business and social innovation models currently used by older people to deliver social good and to think through whether and what new models are needed to fit the priorities of later life people to make social contributions and to earn an income. We are at an action research stage, identify the different dimensions which will shape valuable contribution models and just as importantly how to reach older people with them.

We would love to hear your contribution to these conversations – and if you like it you are welcome to the group on a regular basis.

Popular Resources

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EngAgeNet’s comprehensive new publication: ‘A New Narrative on Ageing’

Member Resource

Negative portrayals of older people are commonplace: the media is largely preoccupied with the assumed cost of ageing, reinforcing a view that older people are dead weight in society - non-productive beneficiaries of state largesse; at the same time, however, they are perceived as well off, and in the eyes of some social commentators responsible for both the housing crisis and youth unemployment.  Like any group outside the social mainstream, older people are routinely stereotyped and are the subject of many false assumptions and untruths.

Latest Thinking

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Meet the In-Betweeners

On 10 April, members of the AAA theme ‘Valuing the contributions of older people’ ran an engaging session at the Oxford Jam called “MEET THE NEW IN-BETWEENERS: THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY OF OUR AGE”.   The aims of the session were  To give everyone permission to own this as an issue and as an opportunity, regardless […]