As we enter our sixth year of building our mission at Evermore Wellbeing, we face new challenges and great opportunities. If we relate six years to a wedding anniversary, we would celebrate with sugar in the UK and iron with our American colleagues. There have been many sweet spots along the journey, and we certainly have needed an iron will at times to keep ploughing on. But there’s more to our work than symbols.

We started with a simple proposition: to end loneliness by providing a great way of living together in older age. In small households that foster participation, growth and good company in the heart of the community we live in. Our mantra has not changed:

We’re champions for a happy later life. Where growing older is about doing what you love and feeling good.

We create new ideas and collaborate with innovators from across the world to bring solutions to the UK that will help older people to live with companionship, meaning, and freedom.

And we actively campaign to end ageism and the institutionalisation of older people.

We are thinkers, makers, and doers.”

We’ve developed our initial concept into our Evermore@Home service that supports people to live their lifestyle, to their timetable, their way in their own homes. And as we start 2018, we’re embarking on a major culture programme with our NHS colleagues to bring small households to life in intermediate care in Manchester.

Could we have grown and tested new models without the ambition that Devolution in Manchester offers?  Did we envisage designing new services, places and ways of working in partnership with the NHS and local authorities six years ago? Could we have anticipated the collective appetite for change and the desire to learn while trying? Probably not…but then we are opportunistic and optimistic about the future.

We need to be fearless, resilient and ambitious to build a positive future of Evermore Wellbeing across Greater Manchester and beyond. We believe in trusted partnerships with other likeminded organisations who embrace change and reject institutionalised, outdated models of health, care and housing.  And we continue to learn and grow together.

Dr McKee, academic, scientist, philosopher and my life, referred me to the ancient wisdom of Lao-Tzse, Tao Te Ching – which I remind myself of whenever we embark on a new chapter:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.
Without mutual respect and trust, that can’t happen.”

The Evermore tribe is built on trust and respect. That’s why we’ve achieved so much with relatively little. We move forward in 2018 with hope, optimism and renewed energy. Want to collaborate? Then give us a call on 0161 818 7374 – we’re ready to talk.

Sara

Sara McKee, Evermore Founder and Director of Market Innovation

Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA