How "Rest Less" Is Helping Today's Over 50s Stay Purposeful and Connected
Launched in 2019, Rest Less is the UK's fastest-growing digital community for the over 50s and is here to inspire today’s generation of over 50s to get the most from life. The platform offers support and content across a variety of topics including health, lifestyle, learning, financial wellbeing, work, dating and volunteering, while also being home to a friendly community.
Prompting people to reassess what a person in their 50s looks like and has to offer is a key part of the challenge they're addressing. Often people picture a 50-year-old as someone in their 70s, but the reality is that their health, vitality and needs are different today and often undervalued.
We caught up with Stuart Lewis, Founder And CEO Of Rest Less, who set up the platform to fulfil an unmet need of helping people maintain purpose for as long as they want to. He’s on a mission to help address the difficulties that can come with retiring, such as social loneliness and ageism, by advocating and supporting the specific needs of the over 50s and by motivating them to stay active and try new things.
Inspired by his father, Stuart spent time researching the transition into retirement including the health and social challenges today’s retiring generation may be facing, as well as the best support he could be providing them with. He eventually identified the common prescription as staying active, socially connected and purposeful. From that insight, Rest Less was born.
While the core Rest Less audience is people in the 50 to 70 age bracket, the platform has become a support for a wider audience during tricky life transitions that require major decisions about career and finances, as well as health and relationships. Stuart and his team quickly learnt that life transitions actually start to happen at a much younger age than they assumed and often people take multiple transitions which can take various shapes and forms. Research shows that peak earnings are now reached when people are in their 40s as many in their 50s start opting for more fulfilling career paths and as a result of ageism affecting people’s capacity to carry on working too.
Stuart also has a powerful vision of intergenerational connectedness and believes inclusivity also needs to be addressed from a generational point of view to avoid one part of the population being segregated purely due to ageism. The over 50s have a lot more to offer and value to add than what they're often credited for. Research has shown that their inclusion in a work, community or project collaboration enriches the participants’ experience while also boosting the project results.
Rest Less has been actively tackling ageism including through its media involvement. Stuart is also quick at demystifying the stereotypical generalisation of the 50 to 70-year-old demographic being very comfortable financially thanks to the property boom and not needing any support. Research has shown that it is a narrow stereotype broadly applied to a generation that has had to turn to universal credit in alarmingly increasing numbers. As a generation often misunderstood, if not completely ignored, by most organisations and the government, Rest Less prides itself on leading the debate on this generational prejudice by commissioning research and being active in the media to generate awareness of the challenges his community is affected by.
Mental health is another area that Rest Less champions for its audience, generating a lot of loyalty and praise given the positive, kind and safe environment it provides. The online community has been growing stronger and stronger - especially since lockdowns as people stayed connected thanks to the platform forums.
"Never underestimate the value of mixing generations" – Stuart Lewis, Founder And CEO Of Rest Less
If there is one thing we took out from our chat with Stuart it’s being more mindful about our role in intergenerational inclusivity. Bridging the gap between young and older people by forging connections between them has positive benefits for all parties. It can change your outlook on life, expand your horizon and improve your mental health. The Eltham Arts "Creating Connections" project recently featured on our Community Bridges podcast is the perfect case study: this intergenerational arts & wellbeing project paired up children and seniors in Eltham for an exchange of handwritten letters which brought the community alive, triggering curiosity for some, nostalgia for others and overall a greater sense of connection for its participants and their wider local community.
Stuart is excited about the positive impact Rest Less is having on the life of over 50s and the wider society thanks to initiatives tackling prejudice and bridging the intergenerational gap. The platform offers something for everyone going through key life transitions - from practical financial and career resources helping you prepare for some form of retirement through to inspirational ideas and opportunities helping you stay active, positive and purposeful in later life.
Visit www.restless.co.uk to find out more or sign up as a community member.