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Last updated

18 May 2022


How data helped develop events supporting the wellbeing of people living with dementia

What is Unlock & Revive?

Unlock & Revive is a collaborative project aimed at supporting the wellbeing of people living with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers in Edinburgh and the Lothians, through online cultural engagement events.

The programme was set up in response to Covid-19 to provide weekly social and cultural activity for the PWD community. The Unlock & Revive project brought together seven Edinburgh-based cultural and heritage organisations to offer weekly online sessions created specifically for PWD and their caregivers. These were the so-called “GLAM” Dementia Socials named after their respective venues (Gardens, Gallery, Library, Art, Music and Museum). 

The partner organisations were: National Galleries Scotland; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; National Library of Scotland; Museums & Galleries Edinburgh; National Museums Scotland; and University of Edinburgh Museum’s St. Celia’s Hall (Music). 30 online sessions were delivered across a 3-month period from April – June 2021.

How did data support this programme?

A multi-disciplinary team from Edinburgh Napier University – Dr Gary Kerr, Professor Jane Ali-Knight, Dr Stephen Smith and Hannah Stewart, in collaboration with Ruthanne Baxter at the University of Edinburgh – were tasked with identifying the active ingredients needed to deliver accessible online cultural and heritage events, that would bring positive benefits to people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Data was gathered through interviews, focus groups and observational research amongst participants, organisers and partners.  The data analysis generated recommendations for event managers and those working within cultural organisations and visitor attractions on how to produce engaging and accessible online and hybrid events for the dementia community. 

The project methodology highlights the particular care which has to be taken when using personal data.  Research participants were verbally provided with detailed information on the background of the Unlock & Revive research project - on what data was being collected; on how it was being analysed, anonymised and stored; and how findings would be shared.  They were asked to verbally consent to their participation in the research and for the data they provided being used in the final report.  All participants were guaranteed anonymity so names were removed wherever necessary and data in the report was  anonymised.


The Unlock & Revive report is available from the Edinburgh Napier website.

View of the airplanes suspended in the National Museum of Scotland
National Museum of Scotland Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam