Celebrating 50 years of Innovation in Independent Living

50th anniversary logo

Join us as Blackwood celebrates the big 5-0 this year!

Our founder, Dr Margaret Blackwood, MBE, was committed to enabling people with disabilities to live independent lives. In 1972 she founded the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association to provide suitably designed housing for people with a disability. 50 years on we are a leading independent living specialist and invest in innovation and technology to explore new ways of helping people live their life to the full.

We have planned an exciting year long programme of celebration, events and future thinking work to create a legacy beyond our 50th year. We want to involve you to help us celebrate this important milestone.

Celebration and Engagement

We are planning events of celebration and engagement with staff and our customers and their friends and families, which will be even more special as Covid restrictions have become more relaxed and it is safe to do so. 

Here are some of the upcoming activities you can take part in:

  • #BlackwoodBucketList - we are inviting you to take part in the #BlackwoodBucketlist challenge! Just create a (doable) bucket list and we will aim to pull together a list of over 50 challenges that we can complete by December 31 2022! We can't wait to see your photos and share your stories throughout 2022.
  • The Timeline - how Blackwood has developed over the years, starting from Dundee in the early 70’s to Helenvale in 2021. A living visualisation presented on CleverCogs that will continue to evolve across the celebration year and beyond.
  • Time Capsules - an opportunity for 50 of our developments across Scotland to send a message to the future, to be opened on our 75th and 100th anniversary
  • Future 50 Project - a collaborative project to stimulate our future thinking on independent living. Working with our staff teams and customers to develop concepts that we will showcase and vote on at the AGM and be a part of the Blackwood Design Awards 2022.

Podcast Series

We are particularly keen to know how Blackwood impacts independent living, from the design of our homes to the services, products, adaptations and technology you use to support you or customers. 

Your contribution may be used in one of the series of podcasts across the year or we may contact you to take part in a discussion or longer legacy piece on our founder Dr Margaret Blackwood. 

  • Our founder - We want to hear about your experience of Blackwood over the years, did you know Margaret Blackwood if so, we would love to hear your story. 
  • Our homes – tell us about your home, what you like, what you would like to see improved to support you to live more independently
  • Our care services – tell us about the care you receive, the people you work with? 

Thought Leadership

We also have events to highlight our thought leadership and innovation for independent living in the future, such as seminars, sponsored research papers, and a developing partnership on robotics and AI in health and social care. We also have some exciting podcast sessions We are also keen to hear from anyone that would like to be involved in the future looking podcasts series covering: 

  • Robotics and Sensors 
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 
  • Data and Ethics 
  • The Internet of Things 
  • Sustainability 
  • Sustainable Investment 

Blackwood Design Awards

The BDAs are back! The Blackwood Design Awards is an international competition that seeks to find brilliant inventions and concepts that have the potential to change lives.

This year we have 2 additional 50th anniversary categories for Blackwood customers and staff:

1. Future 50th Projects
2. Best Independent Living Product over the last 50 years

The winning

Future 50 projects will receive the coveted BDA trophy, the prestige that comes with it, and earn the respect of Blackwood as well as our panel of expert judges. Furthermore, winners will get support to take their ideas forward as a legacy of our 50th year.

Future 50th Project is a challenge to customers and staff teams to work on a project that will improve independent living. It could be a new service or a product. So, if there are any budding innovators out there now is your chance!

We want you to nominate the Best Independent Living Product over the last 50 years. A special 50th anniversary award for the product or service that our customers and staff think has had the biggest contribution to independent living in the last 50 years. As with the other categories in the BDA’s, the product or service should enable people to be more independent. So, for example, you may think that ramps on buses have given people more independence.

Competition is available to all customers and anyone who works for Blackwood. The deadline for submission is midnight on 30th June 2022. To enter the competition simply email bespoken@blackwoodgroup.org.uk.

Contact us today if you would like to partcipate in any of the activities we have planned.

Email: fifty@blackwoodgroup.org.uk
Telephone: 0131 317 7227