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.


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!

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.

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.

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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.