Turn To Us is now live!

We are delighted to announce that the free Turn To Us travel support service is now live! The website can be accessed at www.turn-to-us.co.uk and will initially be live as a four-month trial until May 2019.

Turn To Us is being trialled within East Lothian, however everyone is welcome to look around the website. For now though, only those who live within East Lothian can register to access all the features. Any and all feedback we receive will directly inform the further development of the service.

We are incredibly excited to have launched the Turn To Us service, following over 18 months of design and development. We have worked with people living with dementia and their care network from across Scotland to ensure it responds to their needs. This four-month trial will allow us to evaluate and test the value of the service.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who has been involved with the project so far and we are looking forward to what this trial brings.

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Customer support

Last week, we travelled to Journeycall in Arbroath. Journeycall is a multi-channel contact centre which, like Viaqqio, is a division of the ESP Group and will be providing the customer support for Turn To Us. Ahead of the service launch later this month, we delivered Turn To Us service training and  dementia awareness to Journeycall advisors.

This was a fantastic opportunity to work with and learn from the Journeycall advisors who already provide award-winning customer support for a wide range of public transport and smartcard industries. We wanted to learn from their wealth of experience to ensure that we consider what enquiries they might receive through Turn To Us and to consider how best to handle these.

We have chosen to offer communication via email, webchat and over the phone. This is a direct response to ongoing user consultation and to allow us to offer different communication methods to suit different potential users. For example, some people living with dementia find email or webchat easier to use as it offers them more time to respond and means they don’t feel rushed.

Working collaboratively with both potential service users and contact centre advisors has enabled us to learn from both to ensure the Turn To Us service will be truly valuable.

Journeycall Training Room
Journeycall advisors attending training

Cheers to 2019

Happy new year everyone!

The Turn To Us & Onwards team is back at work and excited about the year ahead. We are looking forward to launching the Turn To Us service later this month. Conducting a four-month trial will allow us to test the value of the service, evaluating what is working well and what requires some further consideration.

We believe this evaluation and live-trial are incredibly important as they will help us ensure the service truly responds to the needs of people living with dementia and those within their care network.

Over the past year, we have been co-developing Turn To Us with people affected by dementia. We are grateful for the opportunity to launch a trial within East Lothian to test our work and gain real feedback.

Cheers to 2019!

2018 review & happy holidays!

At this time of the year, with Christmas and New Year quickly approaching, we wanted to reflect on 2018. The past year has been a very busy and productive time for Project Onwards and we wanted to reflect on our five favourite experiences from the past year:

  • In March, Beth presented at the Life Changes Trust (LCT) Gathering in Perth alongside Andy Hyde of Go Upstream. We received some super feedback from the audience and as always, it was great to meet with other LCT-funded projects.
  • In July, we received the some initial designs for the Turn To Us website from Studio LR. It was very exciting to see the service we had been developing and imagining become realised.
  • Throughout the year, Project Onwards have engaged with people living with dementia and their care network across Scotland. This ongoing involvement and co-design has been incredibly enlightening and informed the further development of the service.
  • In September, Lucy attended a Dementia Friendly Tourism event in Edinburgh. The main theme of the event was regarding dementia friendly events, spaces and experiences. It highlighted the real need for travel information and transport tips for those affected by dementia.
  • In November, Lucy and Phil hosted a development workshop and dementia training at Journeycall in Arbroath. Journeycall will be providing the customer support for the Turn To Us service and it was fantastic to get them involved.

We are incredibly excited to launch a four-month trial of the Turn To Us service in January 2019. We look forward to seeing what the new year brings and for the opportunity to test the value of Turn To Us.

⛄ From everyone at Turn To Us & Onwards, happy holidays! 🎄

Happy holidays

Please note, the Alzheimer Society have collected some information about a dementia friendly Christmas, available hereThey have also gathered stories and tips from real people, available here

Life Changes Trust Gathering

Earlier this week, Project Onwards travelled to Glasgow to attend the quarterly Life Changes Trust Gathering. The gathering is open to all Life Changes Trust funded projects and enables us to come together and share our work.

Project Onwards is grateful to the Life Changes Trust for facilitating these events. We believe the Gatherings help to create an open, sharing and collaborative network across the variety of projects Life Changes Trust supports. It is inspiring to hear from others about their work and be updated on their progress.

Turn To Us Life Changes Trust Gathering
Turn To Us at the Life Changes Trust Gathering in Glasgow

We will be launching a four-month trial of Turn To Us in January 2019. As such, we chose to have a stand at the Gathering to allow anyone who was interested to find out more. The number of people who came to speak to us highlighted how many people affected by dementia can experience difficulties with their travel or transport. We look forward to trialling the Turn To Us service and evaluating its value in 2019.

Journeycall development workshop

Last week, Project Onwards travelled to Arbroath to deliver a development workshop. The workshop was hosted by Journeycall, a multi-channel contact centre which, like Viaqqio, is a division of the ESP Group. Journeycall provides expert customer support on behalf of many public transport operators within the UK.

Journeycall will be providing customer support for Turn To Us via a phoneline, webchat and email. We chose to offer three contact methods to allow individuals to contact us in their preferred way. This is a direct response to ongoing engagement with people affected by dementia. For instance, some people told us that they can struggle to communicate easily over the phone and feel rushed, whereas email gives them time to compose their message.

Twelve new Dementia Friends from Journeycall and Viaqqio

We were keen to introduce Journeycall advisors to the Turn To Us service and to offer them some dementia training. This excellent training, provided by Alzheimer Scotland, was very informative and helped to kick-start the conversations within the workshop. A bookcase analogy was used to explain dementia and this can be accessed here: youtube.com/AlzScot. Further training will be provided to the agents once the service is ready to go live in January.

Furthermore, we were keen to draw any insights from the agents to support the ongoing development of Turn To Us. We truly value co-design and the importance of involving a range of stakeholders during the development process. Throughout Project Onwards we have involved people living with dementia and those who care for them. At this stage, we knew the contact centre agents would offer valuable insight to: identify potential challenges for service delivery; understand how they might identify someone who requires some extra support; and consider the wider customer service we can offer. We look forward to continuing to work with Journeycall to deliver Turn To Us.

The purpose of Onwards

Project Onwards recently attended a course on ‘Measuring Social Impact’ that was ran by the Social Enterprise Academy and supported by the Life Changes Trust. The course focused on identifying the purpose of what you’re doing to ensure you are working towards it. The purpose of Project Onwards is to work with people living dementia and their care network, to develop a service that helps ease the transition of giving up driving.

Through ongoing consultation with people affected by dementia, we were able to understand some of the difficulties people may face when they have to give up driving. Giving up driving can be seen as a loss of independence and some people are worried they won’t be able to continue their day-to-day activities. To really understand our purpose, please read some of the experiences people have had driving with dementia –

 

Wendy Mitchell – “Being able to continue to get out and about enables you to remain connected with others and reduces isolation. If I didn’t have coping strategies to remain independent and mobile, I’d be very lonely and soon sink into depression. Travel brings normality to an often abnormal life. The main barriers of often other people are the people thinking you can’t instead of helping you to find other ways to remain independent.” Read the full post here: https://dementiadiaries.org/our-right-to-get-out-and-about

Chris Forse – “…we assumed that I couldn’t legally drive until my licence was renewed. I now know that this isn’t the case…Carol drove me everywhere I needed to go. She isn’t a confident driver so it made me feel quite frustrated to be so dependent on her and giving her even more to do. I was extremely anxious that my licence would be revoked and I would no longer be able to drive. I started to feel a bit depressed about it all.” Read the full post here: https://dementiadiaries.org/anxious-that-my-licence-would-be-revoked

Carol Fordyce – “I handed my keys to Brian and said, “Put these away, I am surrendering my licence”. I always said that I would know when the time comes to stop and this is the time. I have made a couple of silly minor mistakes recently but this was more serious. I passed my test, first time, at 17yrs of age and have driven for 44 years. No fines, no penalty points, and only two minor accidents. I made the decision, it was mine to make and I think it is the right one. So thats it, I’m now a non driver!!” Read the full post here: https://dementiadiaries.org/i-am-now-a-non-driver

Project Onwards is committed to working to ease this transition to ensure people living with dementia can continue to get out and about once they stop driving.

Dementia Diaries

The experiences above are from Dementia Diaries, a ‘UK-wide project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries. It serves as a public record and a personal archive that documents the views, reflections and day-to-day lives of people living with dementia, with the aim of prompting dialogue and changing attitudes.’

For more information, please visit their website: https://dementiadiaries.org/