There are now over 400,000 older people living in residential care in the UK. Alive is the UK’s leading charity enriching the lives of older people in care and training their carers.

Our vision 

Is a world where older people live lives full of joy, meaning and opportunity.

Our mission

Is to put older people’s mental health and wellbeing at the heart of care across the UK.

Our ambition 

Is to provide meaningful engagement for older people, and inspirational training for those who support them, in care settings right across the UK. 

Why we exist

An ageing population is meeting dramatic changes within the social care sector, and the results are catastrophic. It’s become all too familiar to see older people lined up in the living room of a care home, depressed, silent and staring at the television.  

Care settings are closing rapidly, for minimum wage care staff work a job that requires a vast skillset, and vulnerable older people are paying the price. As the future for adult social care hangs in the balance, care staff are stretched to breaking point. “The job that we’re expecting nursing homes to do is ever more complex and ever more difficult,” says Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector for regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Care homes must demonstrate their ability to provide meaningful activity and Alive exist to address this need, through our activity sessions and care staff training. 

What we do

Alive is one of the leading practitioners in the UK of meaningful activity for older people in care. We provide fun and dynamic activity sessions to encourage creativity, celebrate life stories and get the circulation going.

We’re different to other activity providers because we enable older people to shape the content and direction of Alive sessions, which include the use of new technology, guided reminiscence, creative, energising and physical activities. We entertain but we’re more than entertainers. We engage older people in meaningful ways using a variety of tools and techniques tried and tested over the last 10 years.

Alive activity sessions are proven to impact positively on older people in the expression of personal identity, enabling of personal choice, interaction with others and general well-being. Their training and mentoring is found to have contributed to positive changes in the culture of care and practice within the care settings. From a recent external evaluation of Alive’s work by arts evaluation experts Willis Newson in collaboration with the University of the West of England.


  • Engage older people creatively through meaningful activity sessions  
  • Train and support care staff to enhance older people’s wellbeing and deliver outstanding care at every opportunity
  • Reduce older people’s social isolation by connecting them to their local communities
  • Speak up for the rights of older people in care to those with the power to improve their lives
  • Depend on charitable donations to deliver our work.
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