Around the World

Engaging Older Women in Social Enterprise – NANA Café, London


NANA is a comfort food and craft cafe hosted by older ladies from Hackney in East London. The social enterprise aims to reduce social isolation amongst these older women by empowering them to get involved with their community through hosting a café.

NANA founder Katie Harris took inspiration from her own Nana, who although over the age of 65 was not ready to retire from life in her local community. She identified this need for a community based initiative that put the older person at the heart of the service, running the initiative rather than passively receiving NANA allows these older ladies to make the most of their skills and knowledge and continue to play a meaningful role in their community.

NANA volunteers give a minimum of five hours of their time per week to the venture and after 3 months share a percentage of the profit from the café, which many of the women use to supplement their pensions.

NANA recently won Nesta’s Ageing Well Challenge Prize for demonstrating the biggest effect in reducing isolation among older people.

This truly age friendly initiative is one that we would love to see replicated here in Ireland soon!

Find out more about NANA here

Find out more about Nesta’s Ageing Well Challenge Prize here