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Scots charity revives inspirational awards that help transform assisted living

AN inspirational competition to bring tomorrow’s world to life has relaunched after a two-year break forced by the pandemic – and is also marking Blackwood’s 50th year enabling people to live independently.

The Scottish-based challenge has previously delivered a host of life aids for people who are ageing or have disabilities, including an app that helps make living spaces safer for people with dementia and a “spill proof” spoon for those affected by conditions which cause them to shake.

Now the Blackwood Design Awards – which attracts entries from all over the world – are resuming bigger than before and hope to inspire a new army of inventors to get involved in the Dragon’s Den-style challenge with new designs, technologies and adaptations submitted.

Fanchea Kelly, CEO of Blackwood, one of Scotland’s most respected experts in specialist housing and care, said: “It feels incredible to have the design awards back – and we can’t wait to see the pent-up inventiveness that is about to be unleashed.

“Over the nine years since we created and launched the awards, it has always amazed us to see how varied the entries have been. From intricate, high-tech products to basic designs and ideas that simply haven’t been considered before.

“There is an entire world of untapped innovation out there. We’re delighted to be offering an outlet for that creativity and inventiveness again and feel certain we’ll be helping more transformative products to become a reality.”

The Scottish independent living specialist’s competition is open for inventions, designs and concepts that can boost independent living and enable people with disabilities to live life to the full. The deadline for submissions is June 30.

This year’s competition will be judged in the following distinct categories: Best Collaborative Project, Best New Concept and Best New Aids, Equipment or Accessible Technology.

The competition can be entered by groups or individuals and is open to both seasoned professionals and gifted amateurs, meaning that both technologically advanced and those simpler, yet often most successful designs, are equally welcome.

Fanchea added: “The main thing we look for is the innovation to make a huge difference in helping those living with disabilities or age-related conditions to live more independently.

“Many previous entrants have gone on to achieve great things so it’s a fantastic opportunity for all budding designers out there”.

For more information or to enter, please visit www.bespoken.me or e-mail bespoken@blackwoodgroup.org.uk

Blackwood operates more than 1500 properties across 29 local authorities, and invests in innovation and technology to help people live life to the full. The charity has already built two developments of tech-smart ‘Blackwood Homes’ in Glasgow and Dundee which use a “CleverCogs” digital system to make life easier for older people and people with disabilities

People looking to join can find more information at www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk/peoplehood or by messaging: getinvolved@blackwoodgroup.org.uk

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