Over the past 18 months, Age UK has been part of the Nesta Open Innovation Programme working to develop our first Open Innovation product. Along the way it has been a journey of trials and tribulations. We have challenged our way of thinking. We have had to relook at our initial ideas and go back to the drawing board on more than one occasion.
Through all of this we have worked hard with our Open Innovation Coach Kim and Nesta’s Alice Casey to explore different options. We have also developed partnerships with Ecomodo and Age UK Bromley and Greenwich to create our Age UK Bromley and Greenwich Wealth of Experience circle. From all this hard work and amazing partnerships we were able to host our first Open Innovation skills sharing evening!
Last Thursday one of our Age UK volunteers taught two supporters to knit for the first time. The evening was hosted in a local restaurant where food and drink was shared. Our new knitters were quite excited to learn came armed with lots of patterns, needles and wool. Their ambition and excitement almost got the better of them and was agreed we would start with a simple cat blanket and simpler jumper. The group have agreed to meet our Age UK volunteer over the course of the next few weeks to help the projects progress.
The Age UK supporters were thrilled to be part of the Age UK Bromley and Greenwich Wealth of Experience knowing that while they are learning to knit they are also able to help an older person. They found out about the programme through the Ecomodo site and are looking forward to try other skills sharing activities. They are also eager to become volunteers to help an older person in their community either through the skills sharing platform or their local Age UK.
This is the first of many Open Innovation skills sharing projects that we hope to showcase over the next few months.