As the new Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Hub, the big question occupying my mind right now is how I can support the Hub to become an effective space for sharing knowledge about dementia. When I joined the Hub in July, I was excited by the strength and variety of expertise we hold within Newcastle University and the North East Dementia Alliance network. Day by day, I am getting to grips with the wealth of knowledge and evidence from academic research and professional practice; and learning about the experiences of living with and supporting people with dementia. This latter aspect is close to my research background (and my heart) as I have spent several years trying to understand the practical complexities and emotional impact of everyday caring experiences.
I began with a bunch of questions: what exactly is an Innovation Hub? How does it relate to the North East Dementia Alliance? Why is it that my consumption of cake increases when I’m doing desk-based research? Working alongside Catherine Butcher, (Hub Co-ordinator and expert cake-maker), I’m slowly building a picture of the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills the region has at its disposal: how people are working together; what good practice looks like; what is being shared and what opportunities are yet to be explored.
My hope is that the Hub will save Hub partners and visitors valuable time and resources by providing a useful and accessible portal for information and knowledge, latest research outputs, emerging technologies and other innovations. In turn, partners and visitors to the Hub can shape its future direction: by building the store of knowledge we draw upon; by passing on expertise; and by letting us know what works and what still needs to change. By working together, we might identify improvements and spark innovations that will make a difference to people living with dementia. If you have any ideas you want to share with me, use the contact page to get in touch.