Tech-minded Care Provider Launches Into The Future

by Ross Stebbing

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

A tech-savvy care and housing provider will enjoy a bionic boost at the launch of its new headquarters.

Delighted staff at Blackwood will take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony with a difference, thanks to experts from Touch Bionics.

Representatives from the hi-tech Scottish prosthetic limb pioneers will join Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing and Welfare, to officially open the new Blackwood HQ in Edinburgh.

The ceremony on October 8 will be the latest milestone for Blackwood, which has enjoyed an exciting year under the stewardship of new Chief Executive, Fanchea Kelly.

It will also be an important showcase for the housing and care specialist, which believes in embracing technology to improve the lives of those with disabilities or impairments. Guests will see a range of clever adaptations at work in the Dundee Street offices.

Among the guests will be tenants who volunteer to work with Blackwood’s scrutiny panels, which were relaunched during the summer as Team Blackwood. They include wheelchair users who helped test and choose the new HQ building.

Colleen Robertson, Communications and Marketing Manager for Blackwood, said: “We are known across Scotland for the work we do in delivering a huge range of property adaptations that help people live independently.

“Even small changes which allow a disabled person to open windows for themselves or make a cup of tea without help can have a positive impact on quality of life.

“We’ve spent 40 years coming up with new ideas and new equipment, so it’s fitting that we are still at the forefront of work to find and use the best new technology to continue improving lives for thousands of people across Scotland.

“Having both Margaret Burgess and the team from Touch Bionics at our official launch is a fitting testament that we are still innovating and challenging the status quo every bit as creatively as our founder, Dr Margaret Blackwood, did in the 1960s and 70s.”

Dr Blackwood was a renowned disability rights campaigner and founded the organisation which still bears her name in 1972. That name is now a byword for combining technology with care.

With 1600 properties all across Scotland, Blackwood’s experts are called in to implement innovative solutions such as rise and fall kitchens and specialist flooring which can sense when someone falls.

The Blackwood Foundation also recently celebrated expansion of its home grown social media platform, bespoken, which is now in 120 countries. Users include people with disabilities, relatives and carers as well as specialists who develop disability aids. Bespoken provides a forum where they share, showcase and discuss cutting edge technologies and designs that can help to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities or impairments.

An important part of the official opening day will be the chance for volunteers with Team Blackwood to see the new HQ for themselves and for our Board of directors to thank them for all of their work over the past year.

Meanwhile Touch Bionics will demonstrate some of their latest designs and innovations, showing how prosthetic technology can enhance the lives of those with impairments.

Sally Bowie, International Marketing Manager at Touch Bionics, said: “We’re looking forward to helping Blackwood celebrate the launch of their new headquarters as we are very like-minded companies who believe in the advantages of technology for this sector.

“We can’t wait to showcase our innovative new prosthetic designs – which complement Blackwood’s vision for combining care with technology.”

Blackwood Homes provides a range of accessible, modern, attractive and bespoke housing aimed at providing great value to people with a range of disabilities and housing needs.

Public rleations agency account executive Ross Stebbing

Private: Ross Stebbing

As part of the expert PR team at a fast-paced Scottish public relations agency, Ross Stebbing works on diverse clients in sectors including film and media, construction, healthcare and logistics. While he delivers PR in Edinburgh, his results appear in newspapers, magazines and websites all across the UK and beyond.

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