Help for Heroes is a phenomenal charity that has raised over £121,90 million to help serving and reservist veterans and personnel who experience injury or illness as a result of their service to the nation. It’s fundraising activity has touched every border, every community and every industry – except interior design. SBID is redressing that.
We believe we can improve the transition into a different life for our servicemen and women by improving day-to-day living. We have designed a long-term programme to engage manufacturers with product consumers. This helps our industry improve ‘fit for purpose’ and reduces their research and development costs. It allows injured military personnel to be heard as we gather data from their feedback and build a dialogue between product producer and product consumer.
This data is then shared with our designers and hopefully we can remove the unsightly safety equipment from residential homes by redesigning product shape, material and functionality into products that our young servicemen and women along with our elder retired servicemen will want to use. We hope to view the ugly bathrooms, support and access equipment currently being produced as a thing of the past.
SBID has decided to create industry change to demonstrate our gratitude for the price our servicemen and women have paid. We hope to address the impact of good design on human wellbeing in the most inclusive way.
HHT leads for the ex-service charities on housing matters in the UK, and raises funds for the provision of suitable housing through its Coming Home campaign. Since 1929 Haig Homes has provided good quality housing to ex-service personnel in need and now has 1,350 properties throughout the UK.
In 2008 the Haig Housing Trust was established to expand its range of services to the service community including advising on property purchase, offering rental of disabled friendly property where needed, and low cost rental and co-ordination of adaptations to housing, often in an agency role on behalf of other charities.
The design of adaptive aids used in the home, from hand rails and grab handles to wheelchairs, is derived mainly from hospital equipment. These aids are often unnecessarily clunky, obtrusive and unattractive. Feedback from HHT’s disabled tenants and other disabled ex-service personnel will provide SBID with the data to promote the design of more streamlined adaptation equipment so we can more effectively lobby government.
Following a four year research and collaboration report with government quangos and councils, related organisations and end-users, SBID will provide and facilitate valuable feedback to manufacturers for improvement of disabled products, integration with construction companies relating to adaptation and designers and architects working collaboratively to improve residential interiors for longevity, adaptation and future-proof. The programme, in association with Hope for Heroes, will help stakeholders achieve improvement at minimal financial investment.
The partnership aims to provide evidence for research and development in product manufacture and to reduce adaptation costs. It’s hoped the promotion of more elegant adaptive solutions will enhance the wellbeing of those moving into adapted homes. This collaboration benefits all stakeholders: improving the wellbeing of just one injured serviceman or woman is a worthwhile cause, improving the lives of many is a mission. Together as a society we can achieve it.
As investors in the future, we must research and invest in the science and technology that will change the environment we live in over the next fifty years.
The Soldiering On Through Life Trust encourages support for the UK’s Armed Forces Community by recognising the achievements of groups, individuals and organisations that support this community.
The SBID healthcare council consists of experts across the healthcare design sector.
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