Co-designed by experts

The Food for Life Better Care programme is underpinned by a co-design approach. This means we work with the people who are directly involved in the programme,  using their voices and experience to shape it along the way.

The Experts by Experience have personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses care homes, domiciliary care, hospital or social care services. They are familiar with issues relating to malnutrition or social isolation among older people. Through quarterly assignments, the Experts by Experience gather the experiences and of people using those services to help shape our Better Care programme. They provide vital input into the development of new products and services.

Meet the Experts



My name is Helen. I taught English in a Comprehensive for 38 years. During that time I raised a family and cared for my Mother who had MS. Having retired I can now pursue my passion for facilitating better care for all.

 Experts by Experience Libby

My name is Olivia and I was born at the beginning of the Second World War. Most food was on ration then, but we were still able to have vegetables in season. This was because my grandfather bought a piece of land that he turned into an allotment. He used a lot of time on it and fed a large family. I often dreamed of having an allotment and years later I finally acquired one for myself. I have spent many happy but tiring hours growing vegetables until sadly poor health intervened. 
I am now lucky that a friend’s husband helps me with the hard work and I plant the seeds. This works well for us both.

 Lynne  Lynne

I am 65 years of age and I have retired from regular paid employment. I worked as a civil servant, for 34 years, in what is now The Department for Work and Pensions. I have had significant involvement with older people - on a paid basis and also as a volunteer befriender and those roles, and the related lived experience, have given me significant insight into the challenges that the ageing process can present - in relation to loss of independence; social isolation and loneliness. I am very keen to support projects such as Better Care because, within local communities, they promote learning and better understanding between individuals and encourage positive and rewarding interactions and companionship between the different generations. 

If you are interested in becoming an Expert by Experience, please email for more information. Thank you to The National Lottery Community Fund for funding the Better Care programme.

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"If we give older people better food choices, and the chance to enjoy shared mealtimes and cooking and growing activities, then they will be less susceptible to malnutrition and isolation and will enjoy a better quality of life.”"Angela Mitchell (Food for Life Scotland Director)

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