Growing our over-50’s programmes in England: The Second Half Fund

Spice Time Credits is one of 13 organisations selected to take part in the Second Half Fund, part of a series of funds from Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to mobilise the time and talents of people alongside public services and in particular those aged 50+. Nesta recognises the potential to build on our impact to date and to deepen our engagement with those aged over 50. Carrie Deacon, Senior Programme Manager for the Second Half Fund, at Nesta encourages new audiences to get involved:

Spice Time Credits have already demonstrated that they are a great way to encourage and enable people who have not previously volunteered to give their time and talents. We are really excited to support Spice’s work with a specific focus on involving more people aged 50+

The fund will dramatically develop and expand our work with people aged 50+ in Westminster, and grow new Time Credit networks in Kent and Greater Manchester. Nesta are particularly interested to learn more about how Time Credits will engage and enable new people in these new geographies:

We hope this will be of particular value in galvanising public services and voluntary and community organisations to engage people who have most to benefit from social action, but who otherwise may not currently give their time.

Over the next 18 months, we’ll grasp the opportunity to mobilise many more people aged over 50 to contribute their time and talents in new ways, highlight different expectations of how we will use our time as we age, draw on learning from across our national programmes and contribute to understanding the different motivations and requirements of volunteering in the future.

This learning will support us to develop a new specialism focusing specifically on mobilising those aged 50+ to engage with Time Credits.

Understanding the motivations of our 50+ members

Social action has been evidenced to play a huge part in the second half of our lives and is increasingly linked to successful ageing. People aged 50+ contribute a huge share of caring, volunteering, charitable giving, voting and other forms of social action.

Time Credit Members aged over 50 have made many wonderful and creative contributions to our work across England and Wales to date; deepening our understanding of the direct and indirect health outcomes linked to earning and spending Time Credits, and shaping the delivery and evolution of simple, sustainable Time Credit activities.

We’ve taken learning from the Centre for Ageing Better as a starting point to inform our approaches to working with those aged 50+. The Later Life in 2015 study was designed to understand the barriers and enablers to a good later life and identified six segments of the over 50s that focus on their health, financial situation and social connections – the three factors that were consistently identified as being important for a good later life. We’ll review our existing work with those aged 50+ through these six segments, and design our new programmes with these segments in mind.

In Kent, between 2014 and 2020 the amount of people between 65-84 years will increase by 7.3%. Kent County Council’s strategy to 2020 focuses on supporting older people to live more independently and to increase levels of social contact. Emma Hanson, Head of Strategic Commissioning at Kent County Council, sees the Second Half Fund as an exciting opportunity to build a partnership with Spice, with an initial focus on people aged 50+:

Kent County Council had been keen to work with Spice Time Credits for a while. The match funding opportunity meant we could get started on embedding Time Credits into local community activities where there is need, using Time Credits as a tool to support social action and tackle loneliness and social isolation. We’re working to facilitate strong partnerships at a local level that will encourage more people to actively earn and spend their Kent Time Credits.

Sharing the learning

There is a fantastic opportunity to shape and scale Time Credits to support greater levels of engagement among people aged 50+ to give their time and talents in communities. We’re excited to share the learning from our work through the Second Half Fund in England, and to look more broadly at our work with those aged 50+ across Spice programmes in England and Wales to focus our future development with this audience. Exploring strategic partnerships in Greater Manchester that can benefit from this match funding opportunity is a next step in our 50+ programme development in the coming months.

It goes without saying that we’ll be keeping you up to date with regular blog posts from the Spice 50+ team, and our ongoing development in Kent and Greater Manchester, so tweet us your thoughts, ideas and experiences with Time Credits @justaddspice on Twitter and on Facebook