Francesca Williams writes for Pathfinder International highlighting an ever-growing service online for the over 50 population (as featured inside the April 2021 issue of Pathfinder).
Some background to Rest Less
Rest Less is the UK’s fastest growing digital community for the over 50s. It aims to help people navigate both the joys and complexities of life over 50. Rest Less was launched in early 2019, borne out of personal family experience and inspiration from a television programme which highlighted the benefits of intergenerational mixing. It has quickly grown into a hugely impactful platform offering support across all areas of life from work, volunteering and finance, through to relationships, learning, and mental health – all tailored to those in their 50s, 60s and beyond.
Rest Less’ work has sparked a national conversation about issues surrounding age, taking a firmly age positive viewpoint, but tackling the real issues that are important to our members including ageism and discrimination in the workplace. Rest Less is a regular commentator in the national news, raising awareness of both the strengths and challenges facing today’s generation of over 50s.
How the business has grown
Rest Less launched in early 2019 as a jobs, learning and volunteering site for the over 50s and has rapidly grown – it has over 450,000 members at the time of writing – and expanded its platform to cover money, pensions, learning, health and relationships. Rest Less also offers a range of different services from money saving tools to a marketplace of over 50,000 courses to a Dating platform – as well as its own thriving digital community which is a safe place for members to meet and connect online on a range of topics.
Thanks to the breadth of its offering, Rest Less’s community spirit has turbo-charged during the pandemic. The challenges that we have all faced during the past year have sparked conversation on topics such as loneliness, health, and relationships and members have supported each other through difficult times such as grief, loss, bereavement, and actively encouraged one another to try new things. Many have also found friendship through the platform and are planning to meet up when lockdown is lifted. As well as providing a support network for members, the Rest Less digital community is an inspiring place to visit too: a place for people to discuss their interests with like-minded individuals, to seek advice on certain issues, or simply to share their news – whether it’s a tasty recipe, a first artwork attempt or pictures from a beautiful walk. From the Rest Less book club, through to groups dedicated to topics like gardening, pets, travel, and history; there’s something for everyone.
The challenges faced by over 50s in the workplace
Since launch, Rest Less members have shared their experience of age-related discrimination, either when job searching or in the workplace itself. Many members have been rejected for or pushed out of jobs for all sorts of age-discriminatory reasons such as being told they are ‘overqualified’ (an entirely nonsensical turn of phrase), they are technologically unsophisticated or they don’t fit the company culture. These false stereotypes of over 50s are damaging and have long-term consequences for both the individuals in question but also society as a whole.
The consequences of ageism can often result in a lack of confidence amongst older workers who are looking for work. Many members have relayed the impact that this can have on their mental health and wellbeing as some fear they’ll never be able to find a job, and are therefore no longer valuable members of society. Rest Less works to overturn these stereotypes and is working hard to improve the experience of people over 50 in and around the workplace. Rest Less has partnered with selected companies who are committed to hiring an age diverse workforce; its work and jobs section of the site is full of free resources to help people increase their chances of securing a job and behind the scenes, Rest Less is working to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the over 50s in the workplace and drive meaningful change.
Rest Less understands the emotional impact age discrimination can have on people and has interviewed key figures including Aston Applewhite, Carl Honore and Chip Conley to continue furthering the conversation around these issues. Providing hope and optimism is core to Rest Less’s work so there is an area of the jobs section on the site specifically dedicated to personal stories from people over 50 who have successfully made career changes and/or are doing inspirational work. Many members say they’ve been inspired to make changes in their own lives because of them.
The topic of work is just one element of Rest Less’ overall mission of empowering people over the age of 50 across all areas of life. Rest Less is proud of its diverse audience and works hard to provide information and resources on a huge variety of topics so that there’s something for everyone.
How can Rest Less help?
If you’re seeking work, Rest Less can help with career advice specifically tailored to over 50s; with articles on CV building, interview preparation, information on discrimination, and so on. There are also free downloadable CV and cover letter templates available to download on site. For career changes and job inspiration, the career change hub has over 30 varied career guides and there are articles covering jobs you can do from home, that are active, jobs that involve animals, impact others, and so on. You can also find a trusted high quality coach to help you unpack your goals and make them achievable. Inspirational work-related stories from members are also available on site.
If you’re seeking personal growth, enjoyment, guidance, and entertainment, Rest Less’ lifestyle section offers a variety of content. If you’re looking to learn something new, the learning section has a range of guides on everything from an introduction to astronomy and bird-watching, through to calligraphy and digital skills. The food and drink section’s been extremely popular in lockdown as more people have been getting creative in the kitchen, and you’ll find a range of fun recipe ideas. Art and culture features literature, ancestry tracing, and artistic inspiration, while you’ll find things like gardening resources and tips on how to make the most of your living space in the home and garden section. The dating section is still young but offers a range of guidance on relationships, which is rapidly expanding with the new Rest Less dating site. For travel lovers, keep your eyes peeled as this section will be growing over the coming year as we help people plan for and navigate anything from a trip to paradise to a mid-life gap year overseas – as life begins to return to some sense of normality.
Most of all, Rest Less is here to help you get the most out of life. We’re deeply proud of our community and take great pleasure in engaging with our members. It’s amazing to see the depth of talent, knowledge and life experience amongst our members and the team is constantly learning from them.
Read the April issue of Pathfinder