Social innovation labs

Community Cohesion | Isolation/Loneliness | Older People
Clarion FuturesLondon and the South East
What is the project?

Over two days in November 2019 Clarion Futures hosted its inaugural pop-up social innovation lab, a space dedicated to sharing ideas, insights and innovations related to the challenges of an ageing population.

These solutions will be taken forward by local community organisations and run for a year to test how they can have an impact in communities.

Who is the project targeted at?

Older people as well as other residents, staff and local organisations.

Why did the project come about?

Clarion started this pilot programme as they were aware that their residents live in a society with an ageing population where increasing numbers of older people are living at home longer and with a wider range of health issues. In particular, the project aims to support the large number of over-55s who currently live in Clarion properties, which currently make up 38% of their residents.

How was this project funded?


Outcomes so far

This first lab resulted in two project ideas: ‘Chance Encounters’, which was focused on bringing pop-up activities to places where people naturally interact (shops, carparks, doctors surgeries), and ‘Merton Dining Club’: an intergenerational cooking and dining experience. Participants agreed that Clarion would fund £5000 to Chance Encounters and £500 to Merton Dining Club to see the ideas come to life.

Clarion hope that the innovation lab model and its particular form of co-production will result in new and impactful ways of working in the long term. Additionally, Clarion hopes the lab can increase understanding of both commissioners and service users about what the issues and barriers are, and how they can be addressed.

Future plans

Clarion’s next labs are coming up in the new year, when participants from Hackney and Wisbech will be coming together to discover projects that might have an impact on challenges within their community.

Additional Websites
Contact Details

Sarah Mitton