The NHSX TechForce19 programme’s mission is to deploy technology to help vulnerable people isolated by COVID19. NHSX called on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution.
Rix Inclusive Research is one of only 18, from 1643 applicants, to have been awarded the funding. We applied with our Stay Connected solution, the Rix Multi Me toolkit, which offers multimedia support networking for people with learning disabilities, their support workers and carers. Two of our partners, KIM Software Solutions and the Nottinghamshire based eLearning team, were also part of our bid consortium.
Led by Rix Inclusive Research at UEL, Stay Connected is a collaboration between Rix and Multi Me that builds on pilot projects that have been exploring the combination of Rix Wikis and our EasySurvey with the Multi Me set of mini-apps. During the COVID19 lockdown, people with learning disabilities who are isolated and at risk can use the Rix Multi Me toolkit as a safe and easy-to-use social and support network.
Funding provides £25K for a pilot trial that we are running with the national charity, MacIntyre and supported adults in Milton Keynes, the Wirral, Warrington and Wrexham. Havencare from the South West are also part of the pilot, alongside Ashcroft Support who are based in Sussex and Surrey, and Redbridge, North London, where we are working with the local authority’s Adult Care Service team. There are about 200 supported users in the pilot and over 80 support workers and care professionals as well as a number of family carers.
This is a 2-3 week rapid pilot designed to show how people’s support circles, lost or disrupted through the lockdown, can be re-established and strengthened through day-to-day diary reporting, goal-setting activities, online chat and the capacity for remote support from key workers.
“I’d be lost without it [the toolkit]…it’s so good the way people are communicating with each other, they’re showing us how they’re feeling, how they’re spending their time…and it’s a safe environment for everyone to be in.”
Social care worker, Redbridge, London