Finalist category: Ageing Society Award
Ageing Society Award, Finalist, 2023
The Trailblazers Training Together Project helped socially isolated older people in their own homes by using telepresence robots to allow volunteers to visit them remotely and help them do some exercises to build their strength and confidence and ultimately get them going out of the house to resume social contact.
A telepresence robot enables video communication without the client needing to setup any software and the interaction feels as though the volunteer is present with the client. The volunteer can move around with the client, allowing for a more social conversation.
Over the course of the project, friendships established through the regular visits also helped improve the mental wellbeing of clients.
Owing to the fact that the visits can be made from the volunteers’ own home, it also allows for the fact that people with a disability or unable to travel can use this technology to help others.
In addition to helping older people, the volunteers also benefitted from improved digital literacy by introducing them to the latest in robotic technology and teaching them new computer skills.
The Trailblazers Training Together project was an Ageing Well Service Development Funded project initiated by Bristol Health Partners with Robotics For Good C.I.C. working in partnership with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Age UK Bristol, University of Nottingham and Fitness For Life.