With social isolation and digital exclusion an issue for many older people, this new program brings young and older people together for shared learning experiences.
Lively trains and employs young jobseekers aged 18-25 to provide services that help older people aged 65 and over stay socially connected, active and independent in their everyday lives.
Anna Donaldson, Lively’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, says the grant from the Foundation will enable her to scale-up Lively to employ more young people and create new opportunities for older people to engage with young people and the community.
“Lively is about bringing younger and older people together to build meaningful relationships through technology training. We train and employ young jobseekers to help older people learn how to use technology to connect with friends and family, pursue interests, participate in their community and access services and information online.”
In addition to equipping older people with digital skills, the service model is designed to facilitate meaningful interactions between young and older community members.
“We have employed 50 young people and supported over 500 older people, and I’m constantly delighted by the connections that form between young and older people, as well as the skills and confidence that they both gain.
“We’re so excited about working with the Foundation to continue strengthening and scaling this work and its impact.”
The Foundation’s Healthy & Resilient Communities Program Manager Harriet McCallum said, “Lively is an innovative enterprise that is entering the aged care services sector at a time of significant transition. Lively’s aim is to build the digital literacy of elders in our communities, giving them essential information, knowledge and connection while providing meaningful entry level employment to young job seekers.
“The co-benefits of Lively’s work are many and varied, including the strengthening of intergenerational relationships in our communities. Lively’s strengths of thoughtful planning and partnership development, creativity and business acumen give them every chance of success.”
Since launching, Lively completed a successful pilot with Jewish Care in early 2018 to test whether their digital skills service could be funded through the consumer-driven home care packages.
The results of this pilot confirmed that older people with home care packages are keen to use this funding to develop their digital literacy.
With a further grant from the Foundation and some Federal government funding for young job seekers, the digital skills service model is now being expanded to a further fifteen aged care organisations.