This past week I was introduced to this wonderful new organisation focused on the the 50+ population around the world. Based in Ireland, but focused on a solution for income generation, engagement and sharing while we travel. This appeals to me. Many of us have extra space in our homes and by joining this club we can enjoy an income stream as well as learning and enjoying the company of others 50+ .
The Freebird Club is a travel-based social network for older adults, set up to promote and facilitate positive ageing through the medium of social travel and homestays. Operating as a “social enterprise”, it offers peer-to-peer social engagement and travel/hosting opportunities for older adults. By creating this community for seniors, The Freebird Club provides a whole new way of travelling for older adults, a potential new source of sustainable income, and a fun and accessible way to meet new people and enjoy companionship in later life. Freebird is a membership club, whereby senior member hosts can make spare rooms available to fellow member guests to come and stay for a nightly rate. Thus they can unlock some of the asset value in their homes when they most need it. By enabling seniors to travel, socialise and earn money in new ways, we seek to empower them, enhancing their self-esteem and overall well-being. In doing so, we address 3 social issues facing seniors in our ageing society: (i) loneliness and isolation (ii) financial insecurity (iii) lack of travel options. As a social enterprise our core mission is to connect and enrich the lives of older adults through meaningful travel. We will do this by applying the ‘sharing economy’ model for positive social impact among older adults.
Freebird Club Solution
We provide a customised ‘age-friendly’ web platform to enable older adults to engage in peer-to-peer homestays and vacations with fellow older adults through an online membership model. This follows the host/guest format, whereby ‘hosts’ make their spare rooms available to fellow senior ‘guests’ to come and stay for a nightly rate. The Freebird Club provides a secure and trusted online platform for guests to connect, communicate, book and pay for stays with hosts. Unlike Airbnb et al, visits will always involve staying with the host while they are in situ, as this concept focuses more on the sharing of company (i.e. social interaction) than the accommodation; where people match with people based on shared interests and compatibility, rather than just finding a nice place to stay.
Social Innovation & Impact Awards
The positive social impact of this project has already been recognised at the highest European level by us winning the 2015 European Social Innovation Competition (Nov 2015). http://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/innovation/policy/social/competition/index_en.htm
We have also been selected as one of 15 finalists by the European Investment Bank for their European Social Innovation Tournament 2016. The final event and award decisions will take place on Oct 2016, in the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Please go to their website and take a look around. There is a registration fee of 25 Euros. You have the option of joining to travel and engage with people 50+ around the world as well as the opportunity to host in South Africa. We are a great destination for travel. Don’t delay. Do it today. I am listed and looking forward to hosting soon.