Innovative dementia project scoops national mental health award

We are thrilled to announce that bold has won a national award! The project was one of the winning entries for the Mental Health Incubator Awards in the category 'Early Impact'.

In their panel meeting, judges commented that bold is an innovative and creative Social Leadership programme, with a co-production aspect that has had considerable positive impact on the wellbeing of the participants. Judges noted that this really highlighted the potential for future positive impact in this way too. A public member of the judging panel commented specifically that ‘bold has impacted the participants in a very personal way. It feels uplifting and transformative. The evaluation summary was a joy to read, and it’s nice to see the continued involvement of patients and public in your work being expressed in new and empowering ways.’

Bold is a five-year project delivered in partnership by University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University and is funded by the Life Changes Trust. Bold stands for Bringing out Leaders in Dementia, and our vision is: Having a dementia doesn’t matter for who I am as a person or how I live my life and that everyone should be able to flourish.

The project team worked to redesign the programme so it could be held safely online as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The most significant focus has been to create a safe and supportive environment for participants which has been particularly needed throughout the ongoing challenges of the pandemic where everyone’s mental health has been constantly under threat and where people living with dementia have been adversely affected.

Some feedback from participants has included:


This has been a lifeline for me, and it is helping me thrive.”

“I was close to burn out and realised how important it was to take time out for myself to go for a walk and to make time for myself.”

“The programme gave me time to be still and reflect, it provided a deeper understanding of myself and what drives me to do what I do.”

“I appreciated having the time for some creative reflection away from work as it helped to free up my mind. It also reminded me about the need for self-care and looking after your own mental health and work life balance.

Another participant reflected that the programme was “a gentle way of recognising the collective national shock of lockdown and I was being strengthened by other people in the room”.

“You are doing a wonderful thing, bringing us together in this space and allowing us to flourish. Thank you.

Professor Heather Wilkinson, bold Project Director, said: “Getting this kind of national recognition for the work of the bold team and community is a real honour for all of us involved in bold. Hearing the feedback from participants is especially inspiring and we welcome this award for helping make the importance and accessibility of creative methods more visible."