Hubbers “The Freebird Club” win 2015 European Commission Social Innovation Competition!
Selected from over 1,400 applications from over 40 countries, peer-to-peer homestay model for older people, Impact Hub Kings Cross members, The Freebird Club has won a €50,000 prize to test and implement their concept.
The two other winners are accessible beekeeping initiative Apiform (Bosnia), and accessible car sharing platform Wheeliz (France). The three winners highlight social and environmental issues that are concerns for many Europeans. They are addressing our ageing population, inclusion and accessibility in creative ways.
The Freebird Club is a web-based membership club enabling ‘peer-to-peer’ home-stays for older adults. The idea uses ‘collaborative economy’ principles to address issues such as loneliness and financial sustainability for older people. The club offers a new way of travelling for older adults, and a means to unlock some of the asset value of their homes.
Founder Peter Mangan came up with the idea when renting out his home in Ireland through Airbnb. His retired father helped greet visitors, enjoyed the interaction and ended up becoming friends with many of the people who came to stay. The club is now in its first pilot phase, volunteer guests from London and selected Freebird hosts in county Kerry expected to exchange visits before Christmas 2015.
“The Freebird Club is a real ‘heart and soul’ project and I believe it has huge potential to connect the older Irish diaspora, both with their peers in Ireland and also internationally. Being chosen as a winner gives us real credibility and belief in our project. We’re determined to make a difference and want to provide something really positive for older adults.”
Daan Weddepohl, competition judge and founder and CEO of collaborative borrowing website and app Peerby said: “All of the judges were very impressed with the quality of applications this year. Each of the semi-finalists and finalists should take being shortlisted as a stamp of credibility and an endorsement of their creativity and innovation.”
For more information about the Competition, please visit:
For more information about the Freebird club, please visit: