Social Enterprise Spotlight – Lingo Flamingo

Posted: 30 May 2016, in Press Release

In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Robbie Norval and Lingo Flamingo, a new Social Enterprise providing tailored foreign language workshops to vulnerable older adults. Get in contact with Robbie at and check out Connect with them on Twitter too.

Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Lingo Flamingo will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond. Want to star in the Spotlight? Email

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?  Recent research show that speaking a foreign language can postpone the effects of dementia by up to 5 years. Lingo Flamingo therefore provide the world’s first portfolio of tailored outreach language workshops to older adults delaying the effects of dementia by keeping adults brains’ young.

How do you do it? We deliver outreach language programmes to older adults in the community using language learning as a type of social cognitive therapy or a “workout for the mind”. We incorporate memory tips, music, songs and even cooking sessions to tailor our language lessons to fit different learning styles.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? I, like many other people across the world have had important people in my life who have been affected by dementia. Dementia and social isolation are sadly things which are growing for older adults in our society so I wanted to found an enterprise which could help tackle these issues.

What are your current projects? We have quite a few projects with care homes, day centres and Alzheimer Resource Centres across the central belt and Ayrshire. We are offering projects in 5 different languages and hoping to establish tutor pools in Aberdeen and Dundee in the near future.

What exciting things do you have coming up? We were recently winners in the Scottish Young Edge and we’re excited to build on that success. We are also about to deliver our first project called “Identity and Language” in Scots which will be guid! Finally, we are really looking forward to the national Alzheimer Conference at the start of June.

Who do you want to work with more?
 We would love to work with more social enterprises combining creative activities with languages and making language learning more accessible for many people across Scotland. So, if you have any interesting projects then please get in touch.

What’s your biggest challenge? Our biggest challenge is getting our foot in the door. As we are unique in what we do people are often unsure of what to expect but once we start delivering the courses, it is great to see the engagement and development of our students! Never too late to learn.

What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? I would advise other social enterprises to work in partnership with each other and with local universities and colleges to help get their message out there; spreading awareness and showing the variety and depth of social enterprises across Scotland.