Retirees in the UK are fitter and healthier than ever before. However, loneliness, isolation, disengagement and depression continue to stalk the lives of many in retirement. How can we access and use the latent capacity that exists in the retired population to organise local community groups, activities and networks that could help to prevent these conditions and improve quality of life?
We hope that the launch of ‘Unlocking the Community’ by Simon Goodenough provides some inspiration and perspective on these issues. As well as being a great example of what can be achieved by social entrepreneurship, the ‘Healthy Living Community’ that Simon has helped to develop in Devon is a brave attempt to dissolve the walls between those working in the statutory sector and those in the voluntary sector.
As the UK prepares for the ageing of its population, it is a case-study that provides ideas and important lessons. The ILC-UK is keen to know what others think of the model pioneered in Devon. Could it work elsewhere? What are the risks? What further research is required?