Whiteley Foundation wins joint grant with Surrey University for memory project

11th October 2021

The Whiteley Foundation and University of Surrey researchers were recently awarded funding in the Healthy Ageing Catalyst Awards which aim to, “Inspire innovations with potential to improve the health and wellbeing of older people across the world.”  Zinc (research & development consultancy) and UKRI (UK Research & Innovation) have partnered to organise the awards and fund academics who want to translate their research into impactful and scalable products, services and interventions.

Foundation Manager, Alison Benzimra recently hosted a coffee morning with residents and Dr Sarah Campbell and Prof David Frolich from Surrey University. Introducing the project, Dr Campbell said they were passionate about ensuring certain sections of society were not excluded due to the growth of technology. The morning featured some lively conversation about the challenges of learning new technology and memory techniques, and how to ensure isolated and less-mobile residents were included in activities.

The research team showed residents some of their previous reminiscing games and books, and outlined the current project’s timeframe which is expected to conclude in six to nine months. Phase I will seek to understand what is important in social relationships through confidential one-on-one interviews. Phase II will consist of co-designing workshops with residents and the research team to develop a board game that facilitates storytelling, reminiscing, and capturing and celebrating lives.

Alison Benzimra said: “This project offers the residents of Whiteley Village another opportunity to contribute to innovation in the healthy ageing sector. The wealth of knowledge and expertise they have is invaluable in the development of products and services that are designed with, and for older adults. With our reignited resident-led Dementia Research Group, this project enables us to strengthen our relationships with local research centres and organisations who are dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by dementia and decreased social connections.”

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