“Lingo Flamingo’s foreign language workshops have proved very popular with many of our residents. It is fantastic to see how they respond to the activities and the enjoyment they get out of every session. Dementia can be a very isolating and frightening illness and we are delighted to be working with Lingo Flamingo to help residents use these inspiring techniques to help slow down the effects of the disease.” Grace Sloan, Home Manager at Balhousie Wheatlands Care Home, Denny“We ran a 15 week language programme with Lingo Flamingo, a fantastic social enterprise that uses the teaching of a foreign language to stimulate those with dementia at our Resource Centres. The level of engagement amongst those with dementia was very high and the ‘class’ learnt how to greet one another, the names of foods, the lyrics to opera, and even translated ‘Flower of Scotland’. I would highly commend this enterprise” Jim Baird, Alzheimer Scotland, Kilmarnock"They all get on with each other and have a laugh. It’s also good in that it gets them interacting socially. It’s one of the best things we’ve done with them. It’s been really enjoyable. It’s priceless seeing their faces when we’re all having a good time.” Scott Gallagher, activity co-ordinator at Berelands, Prestwick
Who we are
We are the world’s first non-for-profit organisation who provide outreach tailored foreign language classes to older adults. We are community focused as we go into local communities and train up tutors, providing them with specialised training about making language learning as accessible as possible for older adults. We discuss how different conditions such as dementia affect the brain and how to adapt lesson plans for adults with mental and physical conditions.
"Since taking the workshops, participants have been surprised by their memory retention, because they can still remember sayings and phrases. Overall, I can see it's had a positive effect because it's given them confidence to engage in more activities and they are more open minded about approaching new ideas." Charlotte Smith, Flourish House
Robbie Norval is the founding Director of Lingo Flamingo. Robbie is passionate about empowering individuals and wanted to create an organisation which provides both stimulating and interactive activities. His goal is to show that it is never too late to learn and also to highlight the amazing cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language.
Rosi Mele- Development Manager. Rosi is a Scottish resident of Italian origin. She shared her Italian and Spanish language skills working with us as a tutor at first. Having thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained visibility of the added value that language learning can provide to people of any age and ability, she is now enthusiastically working towards the development of Lingo Flamingo across the country.
Papoula is a Stirling University psychology graduate, that always had a keen interested in language. Originally from Germany, Papoula came to Scotland to study but has since made it her home. After Scotland has been so welcoming to her, she wishes to give back by making a difference and battling the imminent public health issue that dementia is.
Board of Advisors
Rory Lamrock is political and security risk advisor, having worked on international development and security issues. (Treasurer)
Tim Wilkinson is a neurologist in the NHS and currently is working as a clinical research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.
Katherine Nicol is a Community Connector Practitioner, working with elderly people in Glasgow, connecting them to their local community and supporting peoples' improved health and wellbeing.
Jack Rendall is a a PhD student in the Yunus Centre for Social Care and Business, he helps Lingo in assessing its social impact. (Chair)
Kamilla Biskup is a linguist and an international account manager. She helps develop the organisation (Secretary)
How do we measure our impact?
Along, with feedback and surveys from both our learners and our customers, we work in partnership with the University of Edinburgh to evaluate the cognitive impact our lessons have on older adults (both with and without dementia).
Converge Challenge Runners up 2015. We were delighted to be runners up in the Social Enterprise Category for the innovation and creativeness of our social enterprise. The Converge Challenge is Scotland's largest company creation competition and entrepreneurial training programme with a prize fund of over £150,000 which brings together the most ambitious and creative thinkers from academia, research and business.
Scottish Young Edge Winners 2016. We were proud as punch to be winners of Round 8 of the Scottish Young Edge Competition for our innovative and scalable social enterprise. Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and- coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.
New Radicals 2016. We were very pleased to be one of the 50 “new radicals” throughout the United Kingdom for an enterprise which challenges the status quo. The Observer has teamed up with NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, to find 50 new radicals who are actively changing their communities for the better across the UK.