Laura Warwick
Service Designer

Age UK Newcastle

Embedding service design

Age UK Newcastle is a charity that offers services and support for people aged over 50. I was engaged in a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the charity to use service design approaches to help them develop and implement a coherent, sustainable suite of services that provided a better experience for their customers and volunteers.


Throughout this programme, I used a service design approach to enable managers, staff and service recipients to co-design solutions together. I used visual research and communication techniques to meaningfully engage all stakeholders throughout the process. By creating safe spaces for constructive feedback, opportunities to take on more active roles, and a method for testing out new ideas, I was able to encourage staff to take ownership of different parts of the process to truly embed the approach


Several new services were developed, including Phone Neighbours, which facilitates peer-to-peer support for socially isolated, lonely older people. This, along with a new information campaign called Just What I Need, were incredibly successful and heralded as examples of best practice by national networks. 


As well as various customer improvements, the result of the programme was a shift in Age UK Newcastle’s culture to become a more customer-focused and responsive organisation. The KTP also won a national award for best knowledge base impact, as well as being graded outstanding by the Technology Strategy Board. As a result of the programme’s success, I was invited to be a plenary speaker at Age UK’s Services for Later Life conference, as well as run a workshop for Age UK’s national service development team. Age UK also used the programme to shape a flagship pilot, providing service design support to 4 local Age UK’s. 


I continue to support Age UK Newcastle’s service development and have provided bespoke service design training for new staff.



Age Uk Newcastle Phone Neighbours website

KTP Awards presentation about project 

Designing Better Services Together report

“Laura is a talented and skilled individual who brings fresh insight and creativity to designing customer-focused services and support”


Fran O’Brien, Head of Resources and Business Development,

Age UK Newcastle


Seven Stories
Tyneside Mind
Age UK Newcastle
Quality Of Life Partnership
YMCA North Tyneside

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