Stay Active and Independent for Longer in the 2 Seas Area
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Lead partnerHZ University of Applied Sciences
Project budget2 462 279 €
ERDF amount1 477 367 €
Coastal regions in the 2 Seas Area have to deal with specific challenges in relation to ageing as they are confronted with a particular mix of ageing people. This not only includes local elderly, but also the influx of ageing newcomers and visitors of an increasing average age. As this population puts pressure on health and social care systems, it is essential to enable them to stay active and independent for longer, to improve their wellbeing and quality of life to reduce costs and pressures on care systems.
The SAIL overall objective is to stimulate active ageing and longer independent living by identifying new ways of helping people remain independent for longer, more self-reliant and less dependent on traditional health care and social care services. Different from the current, mono disciplinary approach, SAIL will introduce a social innovation process of co-creation to identify new partnerships and opportunities, especially in unlikely combinations between different sectors, to develop new, sustainable business and service models that encourage active ageing.
10 pilots in the partner regions under two themes (movement & wellbeing), created through social innovation and with the active participation of elderly and service providers (incl business, local authorities and health care providers), based on specific needs of the elderly and by looking at local potential in the region. Through the pilot activities the elderly will become more active, healthy and independent but also coached in social innovation processes, contributing to an increased independence and a durable process.
The joint creation and monitoring of the pilots and the resulting feasibility analysis (WP3) will ensure the robustness of the solutions, i.e. their contribution to healthy ageing and achieving viable business and service models but also pave the way for wider-scale implementation.
Cross border approach
- The joint development of the pilots: in WP3 project partners will define jointly how they set-up and implement the pilots. Although the actual implementation will take place locally, the entire process is informed by the joint work of the partners. Peer reviews and site visits will deepen this process (WP1, 2, 3).
- The monitoring and joint methodology for evaluation is putting the individual experiences in a cross-border perspective. In particular the feasibility study (WP3, A.3.9) will look specifically at elements how to pave the way for wide scale implementation across the 2 Seas area.
- The transfer of the outputs and the knowledge into follower communities and across networks will put particular emphasis on the cross-border elements.
- Finally, the project is built already on a distinct cross-border element by using and transferring the knowledge that has been built-up in SUSTRIP (HZ) and Destination FeelGood (BU).
Looking back at four years of the Interreg 2 Seas SAIL project, we can safely conclude that it has been anything but boring. From major language issues in the beginning, the project leader dropping out halfway through, to the COVID-19 crisis grinding the whole world (and therefore also the project) to a halt at the end. Despite these issues however, the partnership has managed to complete the project as envisioned, which is defnitely something to be proud of. Objectives have been reached and outputs have been delivered. The cross border cooperation, which was a bit of an issue in the beginning of the project as pilot managers could set up and run their activities without each other, was strongly improved after the introduction of the buddy system, where pilot managers were linked to each other to regularly exchange information and best practices. This has resulted in a strong partnership and even better pilots.
In addition, within the pilots, many highlights were accomplished. PP9 (Norfolk Country Council) for example, has managed to implement one of their pilots into the local library, which has been copied to other libraries in the region. PP9 (AFEJI) has set up multiple partnerships, including one with the Decathlon sports brand and addition care facilities. PP10 (City of Ostend) is helping other municipalities, such as Ghent, Bruges and Kortrijk to set up activities similar to the Silver Sessions and Silver Routes.
Of course, it remains to be seen if, how and when these activities will be picked up again, as during the writing of this closure report (January-June 2021) the world is still in the grip of the corona virus. If however the spirit and enthusiasm within this partnership is anything to go by, SAIL activities will definitely survive!