Welcome to my blog! This week I’m talking about challenging meetings, soaring sales and fabulous feedback.
I’m passionate about making dementia products as affordable as possible. With this in mind, I had a really productive meeting with Designability, one of our charity partners, to discuss how we might work together to reduce the price of some of our popular products. Making products massively cheaper could involve changing designs and finding lower cost manufacturers abroad. The possibilities are exciting and I really hope we can do this together.
Started with a meeting at the Department of Health. I’m a member of a Government advisory group helping to develop a long-term Carer’s Strategy. It’s a role I relish because it’s part of Unforgettable’s wider remit to have a positive impact on the dementia community as a whole.
The meeting was fascinating and I made my feelings known about particular issues I feel strongly about, such as the term ‘Assistive Technology.’ I don’t think this is a helpful term for carers, conjuring up images of robots and complicated gadgets when, in reality, Assistive Technology might simply mean using a jigsaw or a bowl and spoon.
Fortunately, my point was accepted and a decision was made to use the term Assistive Products and Services instead. All this might sound like semantics, but I think it’s really important to get the language right about an issue which is rapidly becoming a significant part of everyday life.
Later, I attended an extremely challenging meeting with our investment committee Bridges Ventures. The meeting was difficult, but it was helpful too. It’s always good to get a steer from your investors, take a pause and review your plan. I spent the next few days reviewing our business plan, taking their feedback into account.
Highlight of the week
After a weekend camping in the Lake District (without a mobile signal) I returned to find my phone going bonkers… I had recently been asked to appear on The Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 to talk about Diet and Dementia. It had aired on Sunday whilst I was camping, and the response was amazing.
I listened to the whole programme as soon as I could (and you can listen to it here) and was really impressed and so grateful to Sheila Dillon and Clare Salisbury who visited me at home to interview me.
Best of all though was the feedback Unforgettable has had since the show aired. So many listeners have contacted us to say fantastic things, such as:
‘I heard about this website on the Food Programme on Sunday. Thankfully I don’t need it at the moment, but I am telling everyone about it. Brilliant work – well done, I wish you every success.’
‘Just listening to you on Radio 4, I work on a hospital ward looking after older adults with various diagnosis including dementia, very interesting programme. I will pass your website on to family and carers.’
‘Your products are amazing and I am sure make many people lives so much easier. Congratulations and I hope you get the support you deserve!‘
As a result, product sales are better than ever and the number of visitors to Unforgettable has soared. It’s very heartening that a difficult week could end on such a positive note…thank you to everyone who contacted us!
I’ve dreamt about this day! Over 100 people on the site!! pic.twitter.com/bu5iA42IX3
— James Ashwell (@Unforget_James) 3 October 2016