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Lively: Intergenerational Technology

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At a glance

Lively Capacity Building: Supporting Early Growth
Life Experience Enterprise Ltd
Grant Type
Proactive Grant
  • Forty per cent of older Australians experience loneliness and social isolation which has a profound negative impact on health and wellbeing.

  • Individuals over 65 are the most digitally excluded demographic in our community, with digital illiteracy increasingly undermining older people’s ability to live independently in today’s highly digitised society.

  • Sixty-six per cent of Australians hold predominantly negative attitudes towards older people, undermining older people’s sense of worth, contribution and inclusion in the community.

  • 580,000 young people under 25 are unemployed or underemployed due to a shortage of appropriate and accessible employment opportunities.

A unique and innovative solution that addresses both youth unemployment and social isolation for older people has recently been funded by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

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.

Ninety-five per cent of older people who have participated in Lively report increased feelings of social connectedness and/or improved technology skills.

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