Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

I-Can-Do: Developing digital accessibility for the dementia volunteer service

Professor Kristina Niedderer | Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Pui Ling Fung
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2023


“I-Can-Do: Developing digital accessibility for the dementia volunteer service.

This project focuses on older people with a recent diagnosis of dementia. It seeks to support people in building their confidence and staying active and socially connected, which can help promote physical and cognitive health and wellbeing, and thus quality of life.

With rising numbers of cases, dementia is a key health priority. With no cure, there is a need for psychosocial interventions, especially at the early stages, to help people maintain their health, wellbeing and independence as long as possible. The challenge for supporting people at the early stages of dementia is in providing an individualised and tailored offer of activities in their local community that meets their interests and needs, that is not perceived at stigmatising, and that allows them to make a contribution for which they feel valued.

The IDoService offers such a novel and innovative programme. It supports people with a recent diagnosis of dementia in identifying, participating and contributing to social activities in their community by connecting them to local volunteer services. The Service is built around a core 3-session plan, delivered by the wellbeing mentor, which allows people to explore their strengths and interests, get to know what is available locally and to decide what they want to do in a safe and convivial way.

We have successfully trialled the service with Age UK Salford in 2022 and propose now to develop an interactive digital version it to make is more user-friendly and easily scalable. “

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