Help for Heroes was a phenomenal charity which raised over £121,90 million to help serving and reservist veterans and personnel who had experienced injury or illness as a result of their service to the nation. It’s fundraising activity had touched every border, every community and every industry – except interior design before SBID addressed it with a pioneering collaboration.
We believe we can ease the transition into a different life for our servicemen and women by improving day-to-day living. SBID designed a pioneering long-term program to engage manufacturers with product consumers. This helped our industry improve ‘fit for purpose’ and reduced their research and development costs. It allowed injured military personnel to be heard as we gathered data from their feedback, and built a dialogue between product producer and product consumer.
The data was then shared with our designers with the expectation that we can remove unsightly safety equipment from residential homes and redesign product shape, material and functionality performance into products that our young or retired servicemen and women will want to use. We hoped to make the ugly bathrooms, support and access equipment produced a thing of the past.
SBID has the determination to create industry change as a small gesture to demonstrate the gratitude our collective community owe for the price our servicemen and women have paid with their lives. Our aim was 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 provided 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 provided and facilitated valuable feedback to manufacturers for the improvement of disabled products; integration with construction companies relating to adaptation, and encouraged designers and architects to work collaboratively to improve and future-proof residential interiors for longevity and adaptation. The programme, in association with Hope for Heroes, helped stakeholders achieve improvement at minimal financial investment.
The partnership aimed 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 benefited all stakeholders: improving the wellbeing of just one injured serviceman or woman is a worthwhile cause, but 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.
SBID Ambassadors led a fund raising campaign together with The RAFBF to build the International Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Hyde Park.
Experts from across the healthcare industry collaborate on research and changes to the future of the healthcare environment to assist designers when creating hospitals, homes and products for assisted use.
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