Chloe Meineck has won a national grant to support development of her memory box which triggers recollections for people living with dementia.
Chloe came up with her idea while studying 3D Design and Craft BA(Hons) and was inspired when visiting her great grandmother in a care home: “I remember her not knowing who I was but we would put on a song and she would sing and recount beautiful stories about people, times and places.”
Her award-winning memory box, described as “ingenious” by the Duke of Kent on a visit, is filled with meaningful objects, each with a stick-on sensor linked to a favourite song. Chloe has now been awarded £25,000 from the Pargiter Trust which focuses on “grant making and support for innovation through its mission to support disadvantaged older people to be independent, healthy and socially included”. The award formed part of the Tech to Connect Challenge to develop ideas for using technology to tackle social isolation and loneliness. The Challenge was run by Nesta, a foundation dedicated to innovation and social change.
Chloe said: “We were thrilled to be a finalist in Nesta’s Tech to Connect Challenge, where each finalist was awarded £25k to develop their work over 6 months, and to top the 6 months off to be awarded a further £25k from the Pargiter Trust is absolutely great. It takes time, support and money to develop new innovations to transform peoples lives, it comes at a critical time in the project and a critical time in society – the need for Music Memory Box to support isolated people living with dementia has never been greater.”
Sue Gardiner, Chair of the Pargiter Trust, said: “Pargiter Trust is delighted to be working with Chloe, her small team and The Music Memory Box. We felt this organisation was well placed to deliver positive change for older people. In supporting this Challenge Prize, it is taking Pargiter into a new geographical area. We also felt that in the longer term it had the ability to be replicated/shared elsewhere.
“Her Music Memory Box supports and connects people with dementia and their loved ones by combing sensors, sentimental objects and photographs to link to songs, helping to unlock and recall memories in a simple and tactile way.”
Nesta said: “Although entrants to the challenge submitted their ideas well before the coronavirus outbreak, innovative tech solutions that bring people together virtually and provide online support will be even more important as people across Britain limit their face-to-face contact to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Chloe who has been based in Bristol since 2015 has set up a social design studio called Studio Meineck (www.studiomeineck.com), which specialises in co-design, combining physical and digital technologies to create award winning tools and products for mental health and wellbeing. Since creating Music Memory Box for people living with dementia, they have also co-created tools for children in care, and their most recent project is co-designing a tool with and for older men to manage their mental health better. The Music Memory Box is currently being developed for its first large manufacturing run.
Chloe said: “We want to make the Music Memory Box accessible for families and care homes around the world to use.”