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New partnership set to help people live independently for longer

Sep 14, 2020 | Local News

A collaboration between two of the north east’s largest home providers is set to find new ways that technology can help more people live independently for longer.

County Durham based housing associations believe housing and Karbon Homes are bringing together experts to help tackle some of the challenges that face people living with dementia, loneliness or mobility constraints. Leading thinkers in smart technology and affordable housing will be brought together for the work as part of Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival.

A four-day ‘sprint’ will take place from September 14-17, and everyone involved will have either personal experiences and insight, or technical expertise on using technology to break down the barriers to independent living.

The 2020 Innovation Festival is the first where the teams involved in sprints will be brought together virtually. The aim of the sprint sponsored and co-ordinated by Karbon Homes and believe housing is to fully explore the challenges around independent living and develop an idea that could make a real difference into a tested prototype solution.

Chief Executive of believe housing, Bill Fullen, said: “We’ve been using traditional methods to improve the independence of our tenants for many years; many of our homes are adapted physically. But I think the time is right to look at going well beyond the traditional solutions to helping people live independently for longer.

“I hope by opening up the challenge to a huge array of experience and skills from within our own sector and beyond, we’ll see some very exciting ideas that can help to change the lives of our customers and deliver our aim of a life without barriers.

“Being able to work collaboratively on the project with another leading housing association in the area gives us the chance to make a significant impact. I’m sure both Karbon and ourselves will take a lot from this.”

Paul Fiddaman, Chief Executive of Karbon Homes, said: “We are living in a time where the need for adaptable housing is more diverse than ever. In response to this, innovation is flourishing within the housing sector and we’re thrilled to be able to partner with believe housing, one of our sector peers in the North East, to explore how we can improve the way we build, invest in and sustain our homes and help transform the way our customers live their lives.

“At Karbon we’re always looking at ways that we can embrace new approaches and ideas for the benefit of our customers, helping them live independently and confidently in their homes. Our approach has always been about creative problem solving, always putting the customer at the heart of what we do and working collaboratively to achieve a result that has a positive impact on them, which is why we’re so excited to host this sprint and work to develop a potentially lifechanging idea.”

Hundreds of people from all across the globe will virtually collaborate and tackle complex societal and environmental issues at the #InnovationFestival20. From Sprints, hacks, dashes, celebrities, lightning talks, music, and comedy – all to play a part in helping the world Build Back Better.