Whiteley Foundation

Living Longer, Ageing Well

To celebrate our centenary in 2017, we created The Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well with a forward-focused mission to research and test innovations to help older people now and in the future live better quality lives, regardless of their personal wealth.

In February 2017 we published ground-breaking research into longevity at Whiteley Village, conducted by Cass Business School and sponsored by the Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust.

It showed that older people living at Whiteley Village – despite their limited financial means – lived longer, on average, than they would have been expected to do, outside the village. Women have lived up to five years longer than the national average, and men have lived as long as those of higher socioeconomic status.

The data showed that, with the right conditions, life expectancy inequalities that traditionally separates the financially advantaged and disadvantaged can be removed.

We believe that living in a connected community with a shared sense of belonging is integral to that longevity boost, helping people enjoy a better quality of life in those extra years.

Ethos: We believe in co-produced research. All projects involve input from our residents and/or staff, from the design to the sharing of results. We collaborate with academics, corporate partners and other charities to ensure we have the right mix of skills and experiences for our projects.

We aim to be a thought-leader in the field of well-being in older age, and have already published one compendium of thought-provoking ideas. If you are interested in collaborating with us on projects seeking to improve the wellbeing of older people of limited means living within a retirement community, please do contact us.

Life at 100

Watch this clip from BBC Panorama when Baroness Joan Bakewell visited Whiteley Village to explore its impact on residents’ longevity.

Current Projects

Whiteley Longitudinal Study: seed funding has been donated by the Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust, to enable early investigative work on the design of a new longitudinal study into well-being for a retirement community population of limited means. We are collaborating with Swansea University and the ILC.

Exploring the Psychosocial Impact of Retirement Community Transitions: funded by The Pargiter Trust and in collaboration with the University of Surrey. This project will be investigating adaptation and resilience for older people when faced with transitions, such as moving home, becoming widowed, and changes in health.

Oral History: Funded by a generous donation, we are in the process of collecting life story information from some of our residents, including from those who have known Whiteley Village for decades.

You, Me, and the Big D Phase II: following the success of the completed You, Me, and the Big D project, and funded by a generous donation, Phase II will enable us to offer more dementia awareness training for residents and staff, and set up a support group. We are working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community.

Completed Projects

You, Me, and the Big D: participatory research funded by the BSG Averil Osborn Fund and in collaboration with UCL, investigated the impact for residents of a brief dementia awareness training.

Almshouse Longevity: funded by The Almshouse Association, we are assessing the data held by the wider almshouse community that can enable further life-expectancy analyses to be conducted.

MSc dissertation support: we have recently supported two MSc dissertation projects: The Role of Social Conversations, and Climate Change Perspectives.

We are extremely grateful to our supporters and funders, and welcome discussion with interested collaborators and sponsors. Please contact us for more information or if you’d like to get involved with the foundation.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about The Whiteley Foundation call us on

01932 842360

or click on the button below to send us an email.

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