Saturday’s free event

Drop by the Haddington Town House this Saturday (9th March) to learn more about the Turn To Us travel support service. Join us anytime between 10am and 2pm.

Event Details: On Saturday, you can find out more about the new Turn To Us travel support service for people living with dementia and their care network. You can see demonstrations on how to use the service, get help with planning journeys and find out about accessing transport entitlements. Families and children are welcome to attend – there will be light refreshments, plus arts and a Nintendo Wii to keep the little ones entertained.

How to get there: The event is at the Haddington Town House (57 High Street, Haddington, EH41 3ED). If you are travelling to the event by bus, there are links from across East Lothian and Edinburgh with bus stops close to the venue.

  • Bus 253 or the X7 from Dunbar
  • Bus 121 from North Berwick
  • Bus 122 from Gullane & Aberlady
  • Bus 111 from Longniddry
  • Bus 123 from Gifford & Pencaitland

Whilst there is no parking available at the Town House, there is free public parking for 1½ hours within Haddington.

For more info, please use our online journey planner which is available at www.turn-to-us.co.uk/journey-planner If you would like to learn more about Turn To Us, please visit www.turn-to-us.co.uk

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Save the date!

Join us at the Haddington Town House on Saturday 9th March to learn more about the Turn To Us travel support service. The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome. Please drop by from 10am until 2pm, whenever it suits you!

Turn to Us is a new, free travel support service for people living with dementia and their care network within East Lothian. The service provides support to ease the transition of stopping driving and can be accessed online or via the helpline. It equips users with useful information and tools to empower and reassure people living with dementia that they can continue to enjoy freedom and independence through public transport, while staying mobile and connected to their communities.

On the day, you will be able to find out more about the new Turn To Us service and see demonstrations on how to use the service. You can also get help with planning journeys, accessing the right transport entitlements and getting in touch with the DVLA.

Families and children are welcome to attend with arts and crafts, a Nintendo Wii and light refreshments to enjoy. On behalf of the Turn to Us team, we would be delighted to see you there!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Event Details: 

Haddington Town House, Saturday 9th March, drop in from 10am – 2pm

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/

Ann’s Annexe at the Hollies Day Centre

The week before last, Project Onwards travelled to the Hollies Day Centre in Musselburgh to attend Ann’s Annexe East Lothian meeting. The meeting brought people together from organisations who work with individuals affected by dementia. The aim was to gain more of an understanding of what information and help is currently available within Musselburgh.

Despite being held in Musselburgh with some different attendees, the conversation was very similar to that of the Dementia Friendly East Lothian gathering that took place in Haddington at the start of October. Whilst there are various activities, events, support and resources available to those living with dementia and their carers, it can be difficult to get an overview of everything that is available.

The meeting considered how organisations and individuals working with people affected by dementia can be more aware of what is going on within their local area. By being more aware, individuals and organisations would be able to offer more tailored support and direct people to appropriate and relevant points.

With this in mind, we are working towards Turn To Us being a point of reference that would enable individuals to find all the travel advice and information in one place. As well as this, we are exploring how Turn To Us could direct individuals to events and activities locally and nationally. This is a direct response to the ongoing involvement of people with dementia and their carers.

It was great to meet others who are working within East Lothian. There are definitely exciting things to come, so watch this space!

Design review

In our previous project update, we mentioned that our new website designs created by StudioLR were ready to be reviewed. We were keen to share these with people with dementia and their care network to ensure their experiences and needs continue to shape the development of the website and wider service (including a helpline and workshops).

Over the last few weeks, we traveled to the Aberdeen Dementia Resource Centre and the Dementia Friendly East Lothian gathering in Haddington. In the past we have run lots of group sessions to discuss the challenges of transport and giving up driving, but for this phase we thought it would be better to meet with people individually, or with one of their care partners present. StudioLR had used a programme called ‘InVision’ to create a prototype, or mock-up, of the website. This means it is not a fully working website, but it looks a lot like one and you can click through some of the sections. Our participants could test the website on either laptop or iPad (depending what they felt most comfortable with) and offer their critique of the website designs.

Aberdeen Website Review Onwards Dementia Travel
The InVision mock-up that we discussed with people in East Lothian and Aberdeen

The feedback we received was incredibly insightful and is directly informing the further development of the website. We are updating the designs to respond to the feedback and comments we received. For example, the website will include some ‘How to Guides’ to help people through the transition of stopping driving and we received some great suggestions on what these should cover. For instance, one participant suggested that we could have instructions on how to do your first online grocery shop, as grocery shopping is a common worry for many people if they have to stop driving. Understanding what content is relevant is key to ensuring the website and the wider service will be useful.

In addition to specific learnings about the new website, we are continuing to build on our understanding of how best to involve people with dementia and their carers within the project’s development. We recognise the need for us to be flexible in how and when we engage with individuals and group. This means leaving plenty of time within our project plan and introducing ourselves to people early in the process. We will carry this knowledge forward as we engage with others throughout the project.