Life stories, Social Enterprise and Dementia – what’s the plan?
Posted on 15 Jul 2014
When we set up Book of You, we were really committed to the social benefit of helping preserve memories for ordinary people. The more customers and people we spoke to, the more we realised that those with the early stages of dementia have the most pressing need of all to preserve their stories, their identity, their memories. What we didn’t realise at the time was that there is a proven benefit for people with dementia in having a ‘life reminiscence process’ – essentially helping them to tell their life story, with the support of the people close to them.
Meeting with Professor Bob Woods of Bangor University, one of the UK’s leading dementia experts, and Mark Bailey, the director of a leading dementia care group, was very exciting as both could see the potential for Book of You providing the means for this life reminiscence work. It was also clear that if we could help tell peoples’ life stories, it would greatly improve the care that care homes are able to provide, by helping to personalise the approach that care staff have. There was also the potential to have them as living, current stories keeping families in touch with their loved ones in a care environment.
It was clear that if we were to do something about this exciting possibility, we would have to create a new way to enjoy these stories. For people with dementia to get the most out of their multimedia life stories, we thought that a tablet computer App would be an exciting idea – engaging and simple to navigate with gestures.
We were so passionate about following up on this potential that we have transformed Book of You to a social enterprise – Book of You CIC – so that all our profits are reinvested into our social purpose of helping people with dementia. We have assembled an exciting team to help us to realise our plans, and we are now looking for the funding to develop the App and the business model that will help us to help as many people with dementia as possible.
Watch this space!
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