Last September 7th, 2022, CHERRIES Örebro organised the closing event of the regional pilot that saw different regional stakeholders working together in the definition of innovative solutions to involuntarily lonliness among elderly people in Laxå. During the day lectures and panel discussions were mixed offering the audience the opportunity to exchange with experts, regional stakeholders and contribute to reflect on the sustainability of CHERRIES approach in Örebro County.
“The challenges that the healthcare service is facing require us to work in new ways and together with actors we may not be used to working with. The CHERRIES model could be a tool in ourtoolbox as we need to create a movement within human-centered and integrated care . The project has been both interesting and challenging”, says Lena Uvhagen, Regional project manager for CHERRIES in Örebro County.
When it comes to new ways of working, there are of course challenges. Who owns the issue? How to choose the needs? Which direction should be taken? What happens when the project ends? Who takes over and drives the project forward? During the panel discussions, we got to take part in interesting discussions around these issues. Among other things, the benefits of working together and broadening the perspective for social innovation and how we can create together the conditions for innovation were discussed.
New knowledge was mixed with lessons learned from other countries regarding cooperation and project management. A clear insight was that it can be complicated and complex to work with innovation projects.
During the day, we also got to listen to the experiences from the regional CHERRIES pilot project in Laxå.
“The project aimed to break and prevent the involuntarily loneliness among elderly. It turned out to be a difficult target group to reach – as it required a relevant effort to reach the elderly. Among the lessons learned, it emerged that it makes a big difference to see each other physically. The pandemic also caused some problems. There were also challenges in finding the balance – and getting everyone on board to drive the project forward. Since it is about cooperation between many different organizations, everyone must be able to participate on their own terms, based on their conditions and driving forces“, summarizes Julia Olsson from Sydnärke’s public health team, project coordinator in Laxå.
The CHERRIES model is inclusive and exploratory. The afternoon was devoted to creative work in groups, where the participants got to test the CHERRIES approach.
Stefan Philipp, project coordinator and researcher at the Center for Social Innovation in Vienna, discussed the CHERRIES model and pointed out both strengths and weaknesses, purpose and goals. To a large extent, the project has been about bringing people together in order to create relevant solutions in new participatory ways. The participants experienced this in a workshop when they had the opportunity to discuss and work together following the CHERIES model and its three steps: Call for Needs, Call for Solutions and Co Creation. The workshop was facilitated by Anestis Amanatidis, Researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
“In the workshop, the participants got to experience both the pros and cons of the working method. It has created important insights for future projects, I think. We have learned a lot and it was really fun to have a joint conference where we shared knowledge, learned from each other and got to broaden the perspective“, says Märtha Lundkvist, Strategist and Unit Manager for Close care at Region Örebro County.