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The Filo Project aims to give people the time and space to feel at ease, to flourish, and to form friendships.

First anniversary for flourishing student-founded company

A Community Interest Company co-founded by an Exeter PhD student is celebrating its first anniversary this month. The Filo Project, which specialises in dementia daycare for the elderly, has increased its capacity 20-fold since its inception last August.

Elizabeth Dennis, a PhD student in SPA and a member of the SocArts group, is researching the place of music in the everyday lives of people with early to moderate dementia. As part of her fieldwork, she observed a small group daycare service run by Age UK Exeter, based in the home of 'host' Libby Price.

"It quickly became clear that Libby and I had a shared vision with regard to what constituted good day care," explains Elizabeth. "The Filo Project was created in order to build upon our work and that vision."

The Filo Project, which is a non-profit making enterprise, provides a daycare service in the home of a 'host', for people who have a diagnosis of dementia or a related condition such as Alzheimer's disease, people with memory issues, and those who are socially isolated. The service currently supports individuals in Exeter, Tiverton, Okehampton, and Bideford, among other sites across Devon. In its first month it supported 15 clients and by June 2015 this had increased to 316; the company continues to recruit new hosts.

"It is so gratifying to be able to put directly into practice my learning from my PhD research," said Elizabeth. And the name? "It refers to filo pastry!" Elizabeth explains. "Filo pastry has to be carefully constructed layer by layer and that's how we aim to create care for our clients."

Date: 14 August 2015

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