Charities & social enterprises: funding & finance

The South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) is involved in five programmes currently running in the South West which aim to improve the experience of ageing.

The programmes are seeking to identify, fund and support people who want to make a positive difference to people's experience of later life; these people include ‘social entrepreneurs’, small businesses and charities. All of the programmes are committed to helping social entrepreneurs to develop their skills and networks to start and grow their social enterprises over time.

The programmes are all within Cornwall, Devon and Somerset but cover different geographical areas. All have different emphasises, are funded by different organisations, and are delivered in collaboration with different partners.

Transform Ageing: is a pioneering programme taking a design-led approach to improving people’s experience of ageing. With a £3.65m fund from the Big Lottery Fund, this new cross-sector initiative will bring together people in later life, social entrepreneurs and health and social care leaders to define, develop and deliver new solutions that better support the needs and aspirations of our ageing communities.

The programme is being led by the Design Council, alongside UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the SW AHSN and the Centre for Ageing Better. An overview of the programme can be seen here.

Six innovation briefs for ambitious social entrepreneurs to apply their creative expertise to Cornwall, Devon, Torbay and Somerset have been created. Details on how to apply can be found here

Solutions for an Ageing Society: is a programme that offers strategic support and grant awards to social entrepreneurs who are determined to meet the needs and aspirations of people in later life. The programme is being delivered by Somerset Community Foundation and UnLtd, and is funded by the SW AHSN and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

The programme is looking for early-stage social entrepreneurs; people working in the social impact space already, entrepreneurs passionate about making our ageing society a better place or it could just mean people with a bright idea to make life better for older people. More information and application details are available here.

The close nature of the two programmes above means they work closely together to ensure that applicants are referred to the most appropriate scheme – all you need to do is get in contact with one of them to discuss your ideas.

Ehealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC): is a collaborative project partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund with additional financial support from the SW AHSN. University of Plymouth and partners aim to improve the use of e-health in Cornwall. The aim of the project is to improve the use of technology in both health and social care; hoping to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Cornwall, and improve the Cornish economy in this sector.

EPIC started in May 2017 and will run for three years.

Click here for more information.

Smartline: is an exciting research project looking at how technology can be used to help people live healthier and happier lives. It is a partnership project led by the University of Exeter with Coastline Housing Ltd, Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall. Smartline is working with 350 Coastline Housing customers in the Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth (CPIR) area of Cornwall to fit environmental sensors into each of the homes. Sensors will collect information on air quality, humidity, temperature, how much water is used, how air moves around different types of houses and how much energy it takes to heat them. In addition, participants will be asked to take part in surveys to help understand their wellbeing needs, aspirations and desires for their community. Researchers and Cornish enterprises will use the information collected to help design better systems for managing homes in the future, and for inventing new products and services to help people live happier and healthier lives.

Click here for more information.

Innovation in Healthy Ageing: is a European Regional Development part-funded programme and is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for European Regional Development Fund. The programme responds to a number of challenges and opportunities around the impact of ageing populations, changing lifestyle choices and the rise in chronic conditions, which place pressure on healthcare budgets. Transformation in how healthcare services are delivered is essential; the NHS and Local Authorities who have responsibility for adult social care need to evolve the way they do business to meet these challenges.
The Innovation in Healthy Ageing programme has been designed to utilise these challenges as a catalyst for growth. By increasing investment in research and innovation, eligible small and medium-sized businesses will have the opportunity to work collaboratively and will be eligible to apply for funding to develop ideas in the following sectors:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Technology
  • Medical Bio-Technology
  • Healthcare Services.

Ideas could be for new technology, applications that complement existing technology, new service models or process innovation.

More information can be found here.

For more information please contact a member of the Innovation team: