Role 2015-2016: Co-creator, Producer, Editor, Writer, Mentor & Co-ordinator. Current: Senior Consultant.
Dementia Diaries is 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.
How does the project work?
As the use of technology often becomes more difficult for those living with dementia, this project uses diarists’ own mobile or land-lines. Some people also use our 3D printed mobile handsets, which are customised to be as simple as possible, allowing us to both record audio diary entries and capture thoughts and experiences as they occur.
These handsets are linked to a dedicated voicemail and as soon as a diary entry is recorded, it is automatically sent via the internet to the editorial team at On Our Radar. The team will then listen to it, transcribe it and curate it for publication.
The Dementia Diaries initiative was designed by myself and the team at non-profit communications agency On Our Radar (www.onourradar.org). It was launched in January 2015 in partnership with Innovations in Dementia, Ownfone and Comic Relief, and was handed over to Innovations in Dementia in August 2016.
Whilst working on Dementia Diaries, I worked with participants to share their stories of their experiences of diagnosis (the Mirror), unexpected symptoms (Buzzfeed), inspiring stories (Buzzfeed), day-to-day living (BBC) and much more. We co-produced a film for the Guardian with three of the Diarists.
You can find an independent evaluation of the project here.