Pretty much all of us have unique skills we want to share with others, and who better to do so than those who have lived life to the full and have the experience to show for it? This is the philosophy behind The Amazings, a social enterprise set up in East London that lets pensioners share their expertise with others. London Living caught up with The Amazings to find out more…
The Amazings is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to address modern society’s atomised community in which most people don’t even know their next-door-neighbour. They have adopted a new take on the volunteering model, which aims to ‘pull people back into the social fabric’ of London.
This works by allowing pensioners or those about to retire to ‘sell’ their life skills back to the community; whether that be a pottery class, a local history tour of East London or tips on retro hair styling. They get a cut of the profits, and the opportunity to pass on their expertise to other generations.
“There’s definitely a nice intergenerational thing going on,” Jen Smith, The Amazings’ Online Community Manager told London Living.
“We want to help remove the them and us culture with older people, and remove the negative view that they’re a burden on society. They’re full of knowledge, passions and have wisdom which only comes with experience. They have a lot to offer and it’s rewarding being a part of something which enables them to offer it and really get something out of it too.”
So how do the team find these amazing characters? One method is to don sandwich-board signs and scour the streets of Hackney for people with skills to share. It’s not the most conventional form of marketing, but it certainly gets to the heart of the local community, which is what The Amazings are all about!
Are you an Amazing or do you know someone who might be? Get in touch in the comments or on Twitter and let us know!