MadLab Patchworks


The Patchworks project was set up to explore the health and communication needs of hard-to-reach communities in Morecambe. Specifically, the project set out to find out how we could co-design and co-develop a prototype digital tool using cheap, open source technology that could help to monitor and communicate their health and wellbeing.

Soldering Workshop

A prototype – #Pat (Personal Appointment Ticketing service) – was envisioned and developed by MadLab to enable homeless people living chaotic transient lives to track their appointments with the swipe of an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled wristband or card. The team developed a shoebox-size device containing a Raspberry Pi, RFID reader, and a thermal printer. The #Pat device then prints out a personalized reminder list of appointment dates, times and places. As such, #Pat provides inexpensive, mobile access to information for those with limited or restricted internet access.


The #Pat prototype itself is now to be developed and repurposed for a collaborative Big Lottery funded project, ‘CAN’ help, involving 15 organisations from Lancaster.