The last few months have been a time of change at the Stirling site. We have two new researchers, Kirsty Alexander and Kainde Manji (our new research fellow), who are continuing with the fieldwork interviews. Most of our participants were visited by Barbara Graham, our first research fellow. Barbara has now returned to Northern Ireland, but was glad to have met so many wonderful people from the Forth Valley and East Dunbartonshire during her time working on the Our Neighbourhoods project.
We have also ventured into new neighbourhoods by expanding the area covered for the fieldwork. In March 2016, we decided to reach out to organisations, people living with dementia and their carers from across the entire central belt of Scotland. We did this with the hope of finding more people interested in taking part in the research, and we are very pleased to report that we now have new participants from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross. This means that we can understand the experiences of people living with dementia and carers who are from a range of urban and rural neighbourhoods – from those in inner cities and on the city outskirts to neighbourhoods in towns and villages.
We are very grateful to all of our 41 participants for welcoming us into their homes and sharing their experiences with us. So far 20 people living with dementia and 21 family carers have volunteered to take part in the project. We would also like to thank staff from a range of local organisations who have been more than generous with their time and effort. They have helped us network, distribute information and be in touch with potential volunteers.
As the first round of interviews come to a close, the next few months will be spent analysing our findings with our co-researchers in Manchester and Linköping ahead of commencing the second round in the Autumn.
Richard Ward, Kainde Manji and Kirsty Alexander
(University of Stirling)