Why we’re gathering the generations together
More than 3.6 million elderly people in the UK live alone, and more than a million say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. According to research, this has a real impact on their health and life expectancy.
Through ShareThyme, we’re on a mission to help make things better by bringing people together through food.
Cooking up connections
Becoming part of the ShareThyme community is simple. Older adults (teachers) create their teacher profile on the platform. This includes a short bio to introduce themselves to students, as well as their favourite recipes and a list of ingredients.
Once their profile’s live, younger people (students) can visit the teacher’s profile and request a cooking class from the teacher to learn one of their dishes.
If the teacher’s happy to meet the student, ShareThyme will connect them. Both the teacher and student will receive a confirmation of the session and we’ll assist them in finding a time, date and a suitable place to meet, cook and connect.
The story that sparked ShareThyme
Social value projects have always been close to our hearts and we’re all very keen to use our skills for creating social impact where we can. Previous social initiatives included Anthony Nolan, Music for My Mind or building last year’s Pride in London app.
We spend our days helping companies build wildly successful products in some of the toughest business environments. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and how to get innovative new ideas built and launched to market.
We have a Product Strategy process that makes it possible to conceive, test, develop and launch new ideas in 2 weeks flat and we wanted to prove it can be used to achieve anything.
We’ve developed ShareThyme as a non-profit project, inspired by a friend’s beautiful story. Monju (79) randomly bumped into Tom (32) in a supermarket and offered to teach him how to cook various Bangladeshi curries in her home. After hearing their remarkable story, Red Badger did some research and discovered there was a gap waiting to be filled by an online platform that connects people through the love of cooking. ShareThyme was born.
Red Badger’s special sauce
It took us just 8 days to build ShareThyme, by bringing together a fully cross-functional Badger team and our Product Strategy process. The project’s success shows how an innovative platform can be built at speed and scale, without risk.
It’s still early days and we’re experimenting with the concept to learn from our MVP (minimum viable product) through testing with users. We’re delighted to have developed this platform in such a short amount of time.
And, most importantly, seeing the amazing positive impact it’s having is truly inspiring. Already, inspiring stories are mounting up, as teachers and students connect and bond. We’re gathering some of these stories together. Read them at sharethyme.co.uk/stories
So what’s next on the menu?
We’re committed to ensuring the success of the platform and seeing the project help more people connect through cooking. In year one we're on track to bring over 1,000 people together across 30 countries. Through the platform, we'll provide older people with 1,500 hours of time spent cooking with a new friend – time that might have been spent alone.
We believe this is the beginning of something big. We’re now starting to promote the platform nationwide and are seeking partnerships to help us continue to grow ShareThyme.
Get a taster
Want to get involved? Become part of the ShareThyme community now at sharethyme.com or get a flavour of how we built the platform here.
This article was first published on red-badger.com/blog