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 If you would like to learn more about Turn To Us, please visit

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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

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 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.


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

Dementia Friendly East Lothian gathering

Last week, Project Onwards were pleased to attend the Dementia Friendly East Lothian Gathering held at the Maitlandfield House Hotel in Haddington. The event created lots of meaningful conversations around living well with dementia, both for the individual with a diagnosis and their wider care network. We completely respect the confidentiality of the conversations held during this Gathering, so we are simply sharing our reflections from the two days.

dementia friendly east lothian haddington
The gathering began on a beautiful Autumn’s day in Haddington

It was very powerful for us to hear directly from people with dementia and those involved in their care about their personal experiences. The phrase “nothing about us without us” was mentioned a few times over the two days. It reflects the importance of directly involving people with dementia when designing or making decisions about any products, services, or policies which will affect them. It reinforced our core ambition of designing Project Onwards alongside people with dementia.

The gathering created lots of meaningful converstations, via Dr Jane Robertson

Travel challenges, and the difficulty of stopping driving, were frequently mentioned. We were reminded that changing how we travel can be a very challenging transition and that there is a real need to ensure people with dementia can continue to get out and about after being diagnoses. Project Onwards looks specifically at this transition and the event clearly showed that Onwards could have a positive impact during this difficult time.

The yellow “I want to speak please” cards, via Sue Northrop

For use over the two days, the organisers had provided bright yellow cards that read ‘I would like to talk please’. These cards made it easier for organisers to know when someone wanted to contribute to the discussion and helped ensure that everyone was heard. These cards are such a simple idea that helped everyone’s thoughts be heard by the group. We will ask individuals and groups if they wish to use this technique as Project Onwards continues to progress.

Age Scotland Training

On Friday, Project Onwards traveled to Galashiels in the Scottish Borders to attend dementia and veteran training hosted by Age Scotland. The training is part of the Veterans Project being ran by Age Scotland and Unforgotten Forces.

The training was very thought-provoking, as it challenged the stereotypes we sometimes see with regards to veterans and those with dementia. It highlighted the need to focus on the individual whilst challenging the negative portrayal or language that can be associated with dementia and veterans.

Dementia and veteran training delivered by Age Scotland as part of the Veterans Project

The training was a mix of presentations and interactive activities, which made it very engaging for attendees. A great example of this is the Age Scotland version of Snakes and Ladders. In the game, players can problem solve issues that people with dementia and veterans might face. The game was a fun way to learn about the services and resources that are currently available to people.

Age Scotland’s Snakes and Ladders board game