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Innovating to make a difference

How we help

Using the REAL Framework and communication as the cornerstone of our thinking and approach in collaborative partnerships, we have developed a number of socially-inclusive, innovative, compelling and thoughtful projects with partners.
 
With all projects our aim is to explore and expand great ideas with a lightness of touch that makes any connection more effective and memorable.

Some of our projects include: regular conversation groups for people living with dementia in different settings; new printed and digital products; a major communication project for social movement My Home Life; a blended learning package for Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance; life story books project for a care home and a community day centre; research and film production for a children’s charity and a major language sensing study with The Alan Turing Institute.

Using the REAL Framework and communication as the cornerstone of our thinking and approach in collaborative partnerships, we have developed a number of socially-inclusive, innovative, compelling and thoughtful projects with partners.

REAL Projects

Turing Dementia Sensing Language Study

Since 2017, we have been a key partner in a dementia language sensing study led by Warwick University with The Alan Turing Institute. The initial phase involved shaping the content and design of a tablet application for use by participating volunteer carers and people living with dementia, using the REAL Communication framework as its principle driver. 

We facilitated bespoke interactive REAL Communication workshops to introduce the key concepts. In 2019, the Turing Institute secured five-year funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop the study. 

Since 2017, we have been a key partner in a language sensing study led by The Alan Turing Institute, now funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Let’s Talk! LEARNSCAPE

Commissioned by Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance as part of a digital, experiential blended learning package for care workers based on REAL Communication, we also developed an iPad App, designed to trigger instant, enjoyable conversations between young and old. Let’s Talk focuses on people’s happy experiences of everyday life in the 40s and 50s. Six images with conversational prompts provide opportunities for storytelling, together with hints and tips for better conversation with people from an older generation, like listening, body language and eye contact, why early memories are so important to older people and how we can make our conversations with them more engaging and connected. The learning package won Gold at the 2014 Learning and Performance Institute Awards.

For Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance we created an experiential blended learning package for care workers based on REAL Communication.

2014 Learning and Performance Institute Gold Award

THE BIG CARE HOME CONVERSATION

In 2012, we conceived and produced the Big Care Home Conversation for social caremovement My Home Life. It was designed to engage and celebrate care homes in themovement across the UK, inviting them to reflect on what works well and how care homescan improve.

Using a range of colourful materials, care homes made ‘Conversation trees’and held events to engage residents, families and staff to record their views. A key finding from over 3,000 responses revealed that time was the most important issue for all the stakeholders.

In 2012, we conceived and produced the Big Care Home Conversation for social care movement My Home Life, inviting 3,000 care homes to reflect on what works well and how they can improve still further.

Helping to make a difference

Collected Short Stories

Project I

We delivered REAL Communication workshops to staff at a Barchester Healthcare residential and nursing home in west London.

Later, they created pictorial life history albums for and with residents and then recorded how their relationships developed and deepened. The project was presented at the 2010 Dementia Congress. (Dementia Journal)

Project II

This intergenerational project involved a large primary school in Hillingdon and a local community centre. Staff and teachers participated in REAL Communication workshops and then guided children, who speak over 44 languages, during fortnightly visits to the day centre for conversation using Many Happy Returns Chatterbox cards.

We have run three major life history projects for Barchester Healthcare residents (2010) and day centres in Hammersmith and Hillingdon (2011 and 2013). See more here > SCIE Social Care 

Gibsons

We were commissioned by Gibsons Puzzles to design a range of 12 puzzles to help promote conversation with people living with dementia.

We researched and developed a range of themed puzzles relevant to people 80+, including ‘Playing in the street’, ‘Happy outings’, ‘Romance’, ‘Guy Fawkes night’, ‘Keeping warm in the old days’, ‘Cooking’ and ‘Housework’.

The puzzles were designed, prototyped, then rigorously tested with older people to ensure their suitability for purpose in terms of complexity, ergonomics and entertainment value.

Gibsons have used our research and creative thinking to produce new puzzles for this market, to be launched this year.

We designed a range of 12 puzzles to help entertain and promote conversation with people living with dementia. Our research and creative thinking have been used to produce new puzzles to be launched this year.

CONVERSATION GROUPS

Since 2015, Sarah has facilitated fortnightly conversation groups with residents at a London care home, based on the principles of REAL Communication (Reminiscence, Empathic engagement, Active listening and Life story) and the Chatterbox cards.

The sessions last for about an hour each. Originally trialled for four months, by the care home, they proved so successful that they have continued ever since.

Together, we have been able to build a more complete – and interesting picture of each person and this has then been translated into more focussed care.

Since 2015, Sarah has facilitated regular conversation groups with older people living with dementia in care homes and day centres.

The Big Care Home Conversation

Paul Burstow

Chairman, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

“Quality of care is absolutely critical and at the heart of that is an understanding that relationships matter”

Real thinking at work

MY HOME LIFE

Writing booklets for carers in residential care home about best practice.

THIS IS MY LIFE

A competitive project for the Design Council

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CONVERSATION GROUPS

Our conversation groups make life a little bit more fun for people in day centres or living in care settings

Some inspirational organisations

Valued Partners

we have been very fortunate to work with a range of partners that are championing the cause

Let's start a new project together

And work with us to create something that will make a difference