Brain Bus arrives … in Armagh
05/03/2014A ‘brain bus’ service set up by Fold Housing Association is the first of its kind in Europe to use IN2L technology to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and learning disabilities. John Ewings, Brain Bus Sales Executive, said: “Fold’s Brain Bus is proud to be working alongside the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in bringing cutting edge technology to many people in community settings. The bus allows users with learning, physical and sensory disabilities to learn new skills and benefit from the many on-board activities in a safe and disability-friendly environment.
“The Brain Bus’ Team are enjoying travelling around the Southern Trust area delivering services to individuals on-board the bus and groups within Trust facilities; especially reaching those clients who would normally miss out on such opportunities due to their rural locality.”
Cyril Walker, from Appleby Social Education Centre, said: “The brain bus was good fun. I loved playing archery, bowling and matching puzzles on the big screen.”
Margaret Gilmartin, who also attends the Centre, adds: “I thought the brain bus was great especially the matching games and singing. I looked forward going to it every week.”
The bus has a range of physical and cognitive activities tailored to the user’s interests and abilities including music therapy and videos; puzzles, quizzes and games; cycling, driving and flying simulation. Each session lasts around 40 minutes and participants choose what they would like to do with support staff offering suggestions and introducing new content.
Noreen McComiskey, Acting Assistant Director of Disability Services at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, adds: “The Trust is delighted to be working with Fold Housing Association to bring the brain bus to towns and villages across the Southern area.”
Cyril Walker and Margaret Gilmartin (foreground) from Appleby Social Education Centre with Alison Patterson, Health and Social Care Board; Margaret McShane, Manager, Appleby SEC; Adrian Hughes; Lorraine Newell, Brain Bus Support Worker; Leanne Watt, Appleby Social Education Centre; John Ewings, Brain Bus Sales Executive; and Noreen McComiskey, Acting Assistant Director of Disability Services at the Southern Trust