Design projects aim to improve life for older adults

A food sharing network and a scheme to pass on the life experience of older adults are among projects that have been developed to stimulate business and innovation among older adults.

Seven service design projects have been unveiled as part of the Independence Matters project, run by the Technology Strategy Board and the Design Council.

Following a competition process, the seven projects were funded and developed for six months, with the aim to roll them out fully.

The projects are:

Casserole, by FutureGov.


This is a ‘food-sharing’ service that allows people to ‘micro-volunteer’ by cooking an extra plate of food at mealtimes and delivering it to somebody who needs it.

Casserole aims to connect local home cooks with people who can use the service.

League of Meals, by Sidekick Studios.

League of Meals

This service aims to tap into older adults cooking skills and experience to help younger people learn new skills and address issues around food waste.

The project brings older adults together to share their ideas and tips for cooking, and shares the ideas through digital channels.

Gusto, by Shropshire Council, People to People and Friday


This project aims to help older adults meet new people and learn new skills.

The membership service lets people know of events going on in their area and also puts them in touch with others who they can go along to events with, and offer support and share skills.

Room for Tea, by Milena Bottero, The Settlement, and FutureGov

Room for Tea

Room for Tea aims to connect two groups – interns and older adults. It aims to connect unpaid interns who might need accommodation with older adults who might be looking to share their homes with someone.

The service is based around an online network that allows potential guests and hosts to link up with each other.

The Amazings, by The Amazings and Sidekick Studios

The Amazings

This service aims to help older adults identify their skills and experience – their ‘amazingness’ – and share it with others.

The scheme aims to help people with an amazing skill, such as dancing, knitting or astronomy, organise an event to promote and share it.

 • Meet2Eat, by Rodd Design, VISION Culture CIC and Sue Gilding


This project aims to help older adults develop their cooking skills by connecting to others.

It is based around a combination of Meet2Eat interactive demonstrations and activities and a Meet2Eat app.

The After Work Club, by Thinkpublic, Fitness Industry Association and Howard Sharman.

After Work Club

The After Work Club is a service that aims to help older men make the most of retirement.

It comprises a series of events and get-togethers that allow older men to share experiences and meet and inspire others.

Mat Hunter, chief design officer at the Design Council, says, ‘After six months of development, we have seven new services at proof concept or in the early stages of operation.

‘They represent inspiring examples of the services that older adults will want more of in the future.’

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