HUG has been developed from academic research led by our Research Director, Professor Cathy Treadaway at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Welsh Government. Knowledge gained from two research projects: LAUGH (2015-18) and LAUGH EMPOWERED (2018-2020), have helped us to create, develop and evaluate HUG. In 2021 we were awarded Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator funding that enabled us to manufacture HUG to ensure it was widely available for anyone to buy. Our partnership with Alzheimer’s Society means that every HUG we sell contributes to future dementia research and design innovation.
We have collaborated with many people living with dementia and their families as well as professional carers, to create, develop and evaluate the HUG design. We worked closely with over 70 organisations including Alzheimer’s Society and NHS to develop HUG as an award winning product. Their involvement ensures HUG is useful and safe to use at home, in residential care and in hospital.