Innovation Unit was commissioned by the Soil Association to conduct in-depth ethnographic research with older people to identify opportunity areas to improve their experience of food in care settings, in community settings and in hospital.
The research was used by the Soil Association to inform a successful proposal to the Big Lottery Fund. The Food For Life Better Care programme received £1.25 million to launch a systematic, nation-wide, community-led transformation of the food ‘landscape’ for older people in England and Scotland.
Between June and September 2016, I led a team of ethnographic researchers and service designers. We conducted research with 11 Leicestershire residents over the age of 75 to understand people’s current experiences and challenges relating to health and wellbeing through the lens of food. Additionally, we trained the Food For Life Better Care team in design research methods.
The research process was informed by two participatory workshops which were also used as a way to kickstart a process of local stakeholders engagement.
Joanna Lewis, Food for Life Strategy Director