In Your Network - Jonathan Collie
Jonathan Collie FRSA is the founder of Trading Times, a platform which connects local employers with experienced, skilled people – the over 50s and family carers. He talks about what inspires him:
1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
I founded Trading Times (TT) in 2012 as a social enterprise to address the part‐time/flexible working needs of over 50s, carers and single parents. The aims of TT are fourfold: making better use of the ever lengthening healthy early retirement years; retaining experienced work skills in the economy; helping offset the deteriorating real‐terms value of pensions; and improving the way plus 50s are perceived by society in general.
Trading Times was conceived and developed as a winning entrant in the 'Living well with dementia' Design Challenge (run by the Design Council and funded by the Department of Health). We have since been grant funded by UnLtd, Nominet Trust and the London Borough of Barnet. We piloted in Barnet last year and went live UK‐wide on Monday 6 January this year. You can also find out more by watching these videos.
2) Why did you join the Fellowship?
I wanted to network with social entrepreneurs, and hopefully gain some funding. I attended many of the monthly Friday morning social entrepreneurs breakfasts and gained some valuable contacts.
3) In what capacity do you think you could contribute to society/the Fellowship?
By delivering our aims as laid out in question one! I am also working with the Age Action Alliance to redefine the new life phase that has arisen as a result of the stretching of the longevity curve in developed countries ‐ making better use of the healthy vibrant early retired populations during the 10‐15 years before older age.
4) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
We were mentioned in the Daily Mail last week! Also, I was inspired by the London Borough of Hillingdon's very positive reaction to a letter I wrote to their Councillors about Trading Times. They really got the word out and we had 300 visits to our site from Hillingdon residents in 24 hrs.
5) What did you learn last week?
How surprisingly pain free hip replacement surgery can be.
6) Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.
Marion Witton, the Founder of Rate My Care. I've been inspired by her drive, tenacity, eloquence - exactly what we're looking to demonstrate at Trading Times ‐ the vitality and productivity of the over 50s.
7) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows
I'd like to explore how the social entrepreneurs community can help one another to amplify our respective marketing and communications. It's an expensive business getting the word out, and we should be doing better by using our own networks to help each other grow. And help us spread the word! Please tell friends and family who are over 50 or carers, who have skills & time and who would like to work part-time. We'd also like to hear from small business owners looking for flexible affordable skills.