Upstream is Go! and we're delighted to be diving into the project after developing ideas and possibilities with the Life Changes Trust.
Getting around and staying connected with our community is such an important part of staying as well as possible when living with dementia. We think of transport as a crucial community glue yet it sometimes falls short of what we need, particularly when facing the challenges that long term health conditions can bring.
Our goal is to work with people affected by dementia to explore the challenges it brings to travelling around and, ultimately, to influence the development of dementia-friendly services through sharing the insights we learn and by creating training experiences. We want to help people who provide mobility services to understand the needs of a growing number of their customers.
Our hopes? Well, most importantly, we want to capture and amplify the voices of people travelling with dementia. We'd like to work with them to develop training that truly helps people who provide services to understand what it's like to travel with dementia - we don't know what that training will be yet, but it's unlikely it will be powerpoint slides and hand-outs.
And, while testing out this new type of people-informed training, we'll be talking to transport and mobility providers, inviting them to participate, to get together and to start to work together to develop services that address the needs of those travelling with dementia.
Our very best hope? That Upstream becomes a place for people affected by dementia to come together to directly influence the development of future public services.
We've got some ideas about how this will all work out but we're setting out on this with people affected by dementia. We'll be making Upstream with them. We don't really know what we'll make until we ask people what's going to help.
It's exciting and we're grateful for the support of the Life Changes Trust in supporting this adventure.