22 Sep GEC Client, the Freebird Club soars to new heights…

“We are not just about places, we’re about people”

The Irish-based Freebird Club beat off stiff competition from 308 entries from 31 countries to win the final of the 2017 European Social Innovation Tournament in Riga, Latvia, last night.

The awards, which recognise innovative projects creating social value and combating social exclusion, are sponsored by the European Investment Bank Institute.

In June this year the 15 finalists participated in a two-day boot camp in Romania, where they were mentored by experts in business and social entrepreneurship and offered practical advice on improving all aspects of their projects. In Riga yesterday, they presented their ideas to a jury of academics and social innovation specialists.

“Reaching the final of these awards is a great tribute to the passion and enthusiasm of the whole Freebird team including its staff, hosts, club members and volunteers,” said Freebird Club founder and CEO Peter Mangan.

“Our mission is to connect and enrich the lives of older people through meaningful travel and to foster an age-friendly and inclusive world in the process. But we are also about fun and helping older people to enjoy and embrace the world around them, regardless of age. The Freebird Club offers a whole new way of travelling for mature adults, a potential new source of income for hosts and an accessible way to meet new people and enjoy social and cultural interaction in later life.”

The Freebird Club is a peer-to-peer social travel and homestay club for those over 50 launched in April 2017. It is a membership-based club whereby members can travel and stay with each other in the context of a safe and trusted social community of likeminded people. The Club now has over 1,300 members and hosts in 38 countries including the US and Australia as well as across Ireland, the UK and Europe.

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