2012-03-12

Co.Exist

The Amazings: U.K. Retirees Paid To Teach Their Skills To A Younger Generation

Is life over when you retire? Not for The Amazings, who are now being employed to take their years of expertise and make sure it isn’t lost on the people who come next.

Old, meet young. Learn something new--even amazing.

The Amazings is a new social enterprise in London to “help people who are about to retire or have retired create amazing experiences with the skills, knowledge, and passion they’ve picked up throughout their life,” says the new organization. Through the site, retirees can sign up to share their skills and experiences with others by way of group classes and activities, with current offerings including “Street photography with Andrew,” “Blow dry master class with Michael,” or “Make your own natural lip balm with Gail.”

The Amazings handles all details regarding advertising and payments, so retirees need only participate in their activity and collect their payment afterwards. Activities and classes currently listed on the site range in price from $15 to $25, while The Amazings (what looks like three 20-somethings ) keep about 30% to fund its operations.

“We realized the solutions for the ageing population were typically doing things for them like the daycare center, meals on wheels, carers,“ Katie Harris, 27, a co-founder, to the UK’s TNT Magazine. "But the majority of older people we met are able-bodied, passionate, and are skilled. They are willing to give their time and skills back to the public, but it wasn’t easy to do."

Take Jimmy McLennan, 60, recruited by The Amazings to impart his skills after a two-decade career cooking for luminaries--everyone from the Queen Mother to Hilton Hotels. Now, says TNT, he’s teaching classes of six to whip up pumpkin and sweet potato spicy soup; pan-fried sea bream with oriental vegetables; and stuffed portobello mushrooms with goats cheese.

“It’s not just that I have the experience to teach what I do with a certain amount of self-assurance. I also have the maturity to do it,“ says McLennan. “But it’s still quite scary, starting something new like this and meeting people.“

If you happen to be in London, or want to see what your elders can offer, check out their activities here.

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1 Comments

  • Wize Adz

    Taking it easy, doing a few things you've always wanted to do, and teaching what you've learned sounds like *my* idea of a fulfilling retirement.

    Coincidentally, it's also my father-in-law's idea of a fulfilling retirement.  He worked as a lawyer during his career, and is now teaching law school, traveling, spending some time developing his artistic skills, and hanging around with his 2-year-old grandson.  He seems to enjoy this quite a bit, and I expect that I would too.