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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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 here. They have also gathered stories and tips from real people, available here. 

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.

Introducing Ember

Project Onwards is delighted to announce the appointment of our web app developer, Ember. Over the coming weeks, the designs for the ‘Turn to Us’ website created by Studio LR will be handed over to Ember to build the service. Its great to be working with Ember, who have previously worked on projects for people with dementia. We welcome their expertise on board!

 

Before we begin the build phase of the project, we will be meeting with people with dementia and their loved ones to review the website designs created by Studio LR. These reviews will help us evaluate the designs to learn what is working well and what requires further development. We believe that involving people with dementia in the design process is key to ensuring the service we are creating responds to their needs.

 

The build is an incredibly exciting part of the project. We are looking forward to working with Ember and seeing the service come to fruition.

 

To learn more about Ember and the work they do, visit their website:

https://www.ember.ltd/

One year of Onwards

This week marks the end of World Alzheimer Month, an international campaign to raise public awareness and challenge the stigmas that surround dementia. It has been fascinating to see the stories and experiences that people have shared over the past month.

 

At the start of World Alzheimer’s Month 2017, we launched Project Onwards having been awarded funding from Life Changes Trust. Everyone diagnosed with dementia will inevitably have to give up driving. This can be a daunting prospect and many people fear it will be the loss of their independence.

 

We are proud to be working with people with dementia to develop a service that will ease this transition and enable them to travel well. Earlier this month, we received initial service designs from Studio LR and we will be reviewing these with people with dementia. Onwards has come so far in the past year and we are inspired to gain feedback that will inform the projects development further.

 

If you would like to be involved in the project or would like further information, please contact Lucy Geraghty at:

lucy.geraghty@the-espgroup.com

Designing a Service

In my previous post, I mentioned that one of the key activities for us in this current phase of Onwards, was to begin pulling together the overall service offering. In particular, we were keen to engage a design team so we could start to visualise the service, starting with naming and branding. We were introduced to Studio LR – a Leith-based design team who are already involved in some interesting work with people with dementia. After initial conversations with Lucy – the Creative Director at StudioLR – it seemed clear to us that they could definitely help take us to the next stage with this project.

We spent time discussing the background to Project Onwards with StudioLR. We talked through the insights gained so far from our engagement with different dementia groups and explained where we were with the tool prototypes. With a Creative Brief agreed, StudioLR began work on concepts for the new service’s name and visual identity.

Last week I was able to take these concepts to the Positive Dementia Group in Aberdeen, who were kind enough to critique our ideas. We are keen to keep collaborating with people with dementia throughout this project because it is important to us that we design a truly valuable service. At the Aberdeen session, for example, it was great to gain an understanding of the most appropriate language to use within the service’s messaging. We were unsure if the phrase ‘stop driving’ was too stark and unsympathetic to those who may be experiencing the challenge of surrendering their driving licence. The feedback from the group, however, suggested that the clarity of ‘stop driving’ – which leaves little room for ambiguity – would be helpful for many people with dementia.

The input from this small group with fantastic and has already helped to steer our thinking on the name and visual identity. There will be lots more to share over the coming months with Project Onwards.