As the year draws to a close we can reflect on what has been a very busy year for us at Radio Reminisce. It’s mostly been a year of research and development in preparation for Radio Reminisce V2 which is now live. The idea of developing dementia friendly audio programmes came about in the summer of 2018, where I wanted to create a package for care and residential homes and something that could be accessed by the general public too. Radio presenter and now director of Radio Reminisce, Ashley Franklin, shared this passion and vision and immediately began to produce a few test shows for us to trial and demonstrate.
We had extremely positive discussions with our local care group Milford Care and thereafter we began to pull together the first platform to deliver Radio Reminisce as an audio package, which we could trial in their care home. Charlie Tennant has worked tirelessly on creating a platform that is able to deliver our product. This has been a difficult process as there is no blueprint for a project like ours. The further we walked down this path, the more we learned from industry experts and users of our demo platform. So we have taken much on board and explored new options which has been reflected in our new platform.
By the end of 2018, financial backing to help properly start up Radio Reminisce as a business and help produce a full set of radio programmes came from friend – and then local children’s care group owner – John Stamp. Together we developed a fantastic relationship with the National Care Association who we’re proud to say have become our main partners. We launched Radio Reminisce in London early this year, kindly hosted by the NCA partners, Howden – who we are also building an exciting relationship with.
The weeks after our London launch, Ashley worked hard to produce more programmes, and indeed extra programmes such as New You for relaxation and meditation by KirstyJayne.com plus Answers On A Postcard – an audio quiz by Fliss Goldsmith. Within this time we’d organised a local event at Milford Care, where we first trialled the idea. We invited local MP Pauline Latham, who was very supportive and wanted to help raise the profile of our project in anyway she could. The week after the event she raised a question in Parliament at Prime Ministers Questions, putting on record the work that we were doing in which the Prime Minister said: “…this is obviously a very practical way of providing support for people with early onset dementia and I’m happy to join our Honourable Friend in welcoming this excellent radio service.” It was a very proud moment for me and the team, especially as I was watching PMQs at the time with no idea that this was going to happen!
Since we acted upon an idea and began turning it in to a product it has been key that the support for something like this is there. Over the last few months we have taken a step back to reflect on what we have learnt, how we can improve and deliver a specific product that’s simple to use, before fully taking it to market. We decided to focus on the core idea of a boxset of over 20 one-hour radio programmes called ‘On The Wireless‘ where each programme takes a look at a specific year starting from 1945, playing the popular records from that year whilst reminiscing about events, home life and culture that most will be familiar with. It’s an audio package, not only delivering music but memories too!
These programmes are designed to help create conversation, help spark the wonderful memories of yesteryear and become an activity within a family or care home environment. Each programme is delivered with specially created resource sheets, bringing another dimension to the programmes that can help activity-coordinators and family during and beyond the programme. So we have delivered this on a brand new platform that’s easy to use, self serve and where the consumer is in control of their own subscription. We’re really proud of what we have built. We are also proud to commit 10% of every subscription to help find a cure for dementia. A donation will be made to one of the leading research charities at the end of each financial year. So when you subscribe to Radio Reminisce, not only might this product help those with early onset dementia, it can help fund the organisations that help tackle this disease and work towards a cure.
2020 will be a year focusing on rolling out Radio Reminisce to care homes, residential homes and general public. Help us by spreading the word and signing up to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Let everyone know and give us a go! Our free trial means you can try before your subscription becomes active.
Over the next year we’re looking at exciting new ways to deliver Radio Reminisce… but my lips are sealed for now!
Best Festive Wishes
Creator/Director – Radio Reminisce