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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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.


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.

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:

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:

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:

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:

September events

Over the past few weeks, I attended the quarterly Life Changes Trust Gathering Event in Perth and a Dementia Friendly Tourism Workshop hosted by Interface and Life Changes Trust in Edinburgh. It was fantastic to see such a large turn-out at both events and shows how many people are interested in helping people with dementia live well. With a variety of speakers and topics, a few common themes stood out.


At both events, various speakers focused on the importance of engaging with people with dementia. At the dementia friendly tourism event, the line ‘something isn’t dementia friendly until people with dementia say it is’ was repeated throughout the day. It really highlighted the importance of ongoing user consultation to ensure companies are putting people with dementia at the center of their work.


With this in mind, we are currently looking for individuals with dementia to help us review website designs. We will host 30 – 45 minute sessions around Scotland and each participant will recieve £15 to cover any associated costs.

Each participant will receive £15 to cover any costs associated with attending a session. If you would be interested or would like any further information, please contact Lucy Geraghty at:


Dementia Freindly Tourism Event
The Dementia Friendly Tourism Workshop hosted by Interface and the Life Changes Trust


Through both events, another key theme was the importance of easy travel for people with dementia. With the creation of dementia friendly events and environments, we need to enable and empower people with dementia to be able to get out and about. During both events, various individuals spoke about transport being a barrier and this demonstrates the value and need for the Onwards project.


I am excited to continue developing the service to help people with dementia travel well.