This two year design research project is funded by Welsh Government via the SMART Expertise ERDF. It builds on the LAUGH project research findings and is evaluating HUG™ with 40 participants in NHS hospital and residential care settings. The Academic Lead Investigator for the research is Prof Cathy Treadaway and the team includes Aidan Taylor and Dr Jac Fennell with support from Dr Abdul Seckam, Stroke Hub Wales.

The project is a partnership between Sunrise Senior Living, NHS and Cardiff Metropolitan University. The aim of the project is to evaluate the wellbeing benefits of HUG™ with people living with dementia and post stroke cognitive impairment. It is also developing some new products for people who are cognitively impaired.

One of the outcomes from the project is the university spin-out business HUG by LAUGH™, which will make HUG™ commercially available. HUG by LAUGH™ is partnered by Alzheimer’s Society UK through their Accelerator programme