Ageing Well Torbay

Ageing Well Torbay was a six year project (extended for an additional seventh year due to the COVID-19 pandemic) funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which aimed to reconnect communities and reduce social isolation experienced by people aged 50+ living across Torbay. The programme concluded at the end of March 2022.

About Ageing Well Torbay

People over the age of 50 told Torbay Community Development Trust they are isolated due to retirement, bereavement, low income, poor health and mobility, lack of transport, and fear of leaving the house.


From work carried out by our delivery partners over a period of three years, we knew that there were (and still are) isolated people aged 50+ in every neighbourhood of Torbay. We believe that older age should be viewed as an opportunity and that people over 50 should be valued and able to contribute to their communities – thus, Ageing Well Torbay born.


Ageing Well Torbay was established as part of Ageing Better, a programme set up by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Ageing Better aimed to develop creative ways for people over 50 to be actively involved in their local communities, helping to combat social isolation and loneliness. It was one of five major programmes set up by The National Lottery Community Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.


Click on any of the reports in the gallery to open as a PDF:


We’ve had many stories shared with us over the years, and a few we’ve had the privilege to make into short films and videos interviewing just some of Torbay’s residents whose past has led to such an influence on our programme.


See the video gallery below (navigate by clicking the left/right arrows, or drag left/right with your cursor/finger)

Next Steps

Through 2018 and 2019, we asked residents over 50 in Torbay “What do you wish you’d known before you retired?” and this playlist is how a number of them responded, reflecting on challenges they’d faced, as well as the skills and knowledge they view as essential to ageing well.

Stronger Together – Festival of Learning 2021

In May 2021, Ageing Better programmes from around the UK were invited to share their learning at the Stronger Together – Festival of Learning, a three week-long virtual series of webinars and workshops on Zoom, open for all who were interested in learning about working with the community.

Ageing Well Torbay hosted five sessions on the week commencing 10th May 2021, the recordings of which are available in this YouTube playlist:

Stronger Together: A Co-production Toolkit


“If you’re using co-production to involve people in the design of services that impact them and their communities, then this toolkit is for you.”


This toolkit has been co-created with steering group representatives from across the Ageing Better network. Our aim was to develop a user-centred, one-stop resource for anyone looking to co-produce services or projects – let the co-producing begin!


Co-production has been at the very heart of Ageing Better’s work. The voices of older people have been involved within every aspect of our programme – from the setting up, dissemination, design, & delivery, through to the evaluation of services, projects & activities for people aged 50 and over.


Part of our legacy has been the development of an interactive Toolkit, a one-stop, user-friendly space where we can share our collective experiences across the last 6 years. Our extensive learning is brought to you through a beautifully illustrated PDF document that sets the scene, linking to hundreds of stories, tools and resources available at your fingertips.


The toolkit is organised into 12 distinct co-production themes:


  • Creating a co-production culture
  • Community development through micro-funding
  • Tackling ageism through co-production & age-friendly communities
  • Co-production within coastal & rural communities
  • Tackling loneliness through co-commissioning
  • Empowering communities through partnership working
  • Co-researching within the community
  • Growing sustainable groups
  • Diversity& inclusion
  • Creativity in co-production
  • Asset-based community development
  • Co-production in a crisis


If you are looking to use a co-production approach to involve people in the design of services, projects or activities that impact them and their communities, then this Toolkit is for you. Whether you’re just starting out with co-production, or looking to refine your methods to meet a specific challenge, you will find plenty of useful insights and inspiring stories in our Toolkit.


We wanted to bring to life the work of the Ageing Better programme in a way that can be accessed by anyone wanting to work with people in their communities, whether at a strategic, operational or grassroots level.


Here is our “about this toolkit” document to help you get to grips with how the Toolkit works, what you can expect to find within and the best way to find what you need in a way that works for you.

To access the toolkit, click here.