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Service Design (MA)

Yiying Wang

The benefit of reusing & what's the effect of reusing.

At the beginning of this project one of our teammates sprained her foot and got the free crutch from the NHS, then we didn't know how to dispose the used crutches, so we started focusing on this topic.We gained the information that If two fifths of mobility aids were returned, the average hospital could save up to £46,000 per year. At  the same time, if the return rate increased over the next three years, hospitals could reduce NHS carbon emissions by 7,400 tonnes, equivalent to 281,397 car journeys from London to Bristol.

Actually, Many patients also don't want to throw away their crutches because the condition is so great which means it can be reused by others, but more importantly, by our research, we knew people truly face difficulties during the return process.

Sent surveys and analysis the outcome

In order to understand the current recycling and reuse process we did some desk research about the return situation and reuse policy, the condition of hospitals which already did this job, and charities who attract donations for their daily work etc.

To achieve a more clear cognition to find out the pain points, we start to send surveys and interview our target users(who borrow the free crutches from NHS, especially Temporary use crutches ( this type of users have sufficient upper body strength and coordination to support and move their own body weight. usually 14-60 years old)and hospital staff.

We also went to some hospitals which can receive the used crutches and reuse them to figure out what things we can do and learn about their touchpoints.

Problem statment
How might we
Project development process

Re:Crutch is a crutch reusing campaign, which aims to encourage more people to return their crutches easily and happily. 

Our guidance and reward service system about returning crutches,

helps people who borrow the crutches from the NHS have better experience in returning, by establishing some more visible and attractive return points in the hospital, giving guidance with the crutches and giving them return rewards.

(1)Some visible and attractive return areas inside the hospital, where not only patients but everyone passing by can notice and realise that the crutches can be reused.

(2)A guidance for returning on double layers stickers on the crutches to remind.

If you have an unused crutch, what would make you willing to go to the hospital to return it (even if it costs you money and time)?

Hi there! I'm Yiying, studying at the RCA was a new start to my life exploration and have received many surprises and guidance here.We worked on the social problem, future tasks and recycling. To be honest, this experience literally taught me to be humble as beginners in different fields, exploring and discovering all possibilities. Just like life.

In my future, I will more focus on the female and children's issues to help things be better.

Degree Details

School of DesignService Design (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Stevens Building, Second and third floors


In the past term, we have tried to focus on reducing the recall, figure out the future gas station problem and also linked with life boat station promotion etc.

In my final project, I'm working with my teammate Xinying and we located our topic on crutches recycling and reuse. By this project, we want to attract more people to join the return effort to less the landfill and help others.