Recent research indicates that speaking a foreign language can postpone the effects of dementia by up to five years. This incredible fact led Robbie Norval, a member of staff at the University of Stirling, to set up Lingo Flamingo, a social enterprise business offering tailored language classes to older adults across Scotland.
The company, which Robbie founded after a close family member was diagnosed with dementia, went on to win the 2015 Impact Challenge runner-up prize. This experience together with the desire to improve the lives of those living with dementia was the catalyst for the setting up the business.
Working with care homes, day centres and organisations including Dementia in the Community and Alzheimer Scotland, the company provides interactive workshops tailored to older adults with dementia and mental health issues. Since launching in 2015, the company has delivered in excess of 1,000 courses.
In 2018 Lingo Flamingo opened a community language hub in Shawlands, Glasgow, offering a selection of in-house and online language classes. Surplus from the hub is reinvested into their social mission of providing accessible and engaging language workshops for older adults