The Filo Project was started by Libby and Liz. They met when Liz was engaged in a PhD focusing on the role of music in the everyday lives of people with dementia. At the time Libby was working for Age UK Exeter in a dementia day care capacity, within their Neighbourhood Day Service. Libby’s experience of working extensively with this complex client group meant that she was an ideal individual with whom Liz could collaborate during her PhD fieldwork. To this end Liz attended Libby’s day care sessions for around 6 months. During this time she had the opportunity to observe at close hand Libby’s style of work, and see how clients responded to this. Wearing her metaphorical white coat and looking under her metaphorical microscope, day in and day out, for an extended period Liz analysed what Libby was doing and how she was doing it. Through her research Liz came to see that the very effective care Libby was providing involved many subtle processes and, moreover, that good day care was achieved by collaboration between the clients and Libby, very much a two-way street.
During their months together a dialogue developed between the two and it became apparent that they both had similar ideas about how day care should be. They both were strongly of the opinion that the bar needed to be raised, for day care not to simply be ‘good enough.’ They both passionately felt that even in austere times the value of people should not be lost. In a sense, using the commercial sector as a model in which the bottom line of financial gain is a great motivator for creativity and innovation, they believe that the same verve should be applied when the profit is the wellbeing of people.
Ultimately they decided that if they wanted to build upon the work that Libby was doing, they would need to take things into their own hands, and so, The Filo Project was born. The name, not intended to be taken too literally, refers to filo pastry and represents careful constructing or re-constructing, piece by piece, layer by layer.