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Challenge Dementia launched

19 February 2018
Group of elderly people taking part in a dance session with carers

Challenge Dementia, launched on Friday 19 January, on Essex Dementia Day.  It is the first national search for next generation products, technologies and services that could transform the way people live with dementia in Essex, helping them to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives for as long as possible.

Pioneered by Essex County Council, Challenge Dementia is open to individuals, teams and companies with ideas for ambitious and innovative products, technologies and services that will enable people living with dementia to remain connected to the people and places around them and to maintain their identity.

In May, a panel of judges will invite up to 10 finalists to test and develop their ideas in Essex over a six month period.  Each will receive £5,000 and access to a unique ecosystem of dementia experts from across the community, voluntary, public and private sector as well as people living with dementia.  £100,000 will be awarded to the winner who successfully meets the entry and judging criteria.

Solutions might include an easy to use service that keeps people connected to their family or friends; a programme that helps and encourages people to keep in contact with the places they love, from walking outdoors to enjoying a pint at their local pub; or even a simple digital solution that helps people connect with their community according to their likes.

Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr John Spence from Essex County Council said: “This Essex Dementia Day, when there are already over 50 events taking place across Essex to support those living with dementia, is the perfect day to launch the Challenge Dementia Prize.

We have seen that small things like interactive light activities and digital reminiscence tools can make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia.  The prize provides an exciting opportunity and a catalyst for people who might already be developing ideas to kick-start projects, uncover potential innovations and develop ground-breaking solutions. “

Essex County Council Leader, Cllr David Finch said: “The aim of the Challenge Dementia prize is to stimulate the market and encourage teams, organisations and individuals to think differently about enabling people living with dementia to live to their full potential by focusing on the vibrancy and identity of the individual.

We are encouraged by initial conversations with potential applicants and we expect to see ideas and solutions that will not only positively change the lives of individuals, but will also contribute to influencing the existing dementia system for the better.”