BACK TO All Work



MA 22/23
Reuse, Crutches,Walking aids, Eco-friendly, Sustainability

Recrutch is a campaign that focuses on the return of used free crutches. The NHS often spends a lot of money on walking aids and then lends them to patients, but it is extremely easy for patients to forget to return their crutches as a final step.

We want to encourage people to return their crutches with a better and happier experience.


This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration. We really appreciate to Shu Zhang from Hongik University for her contribution to the visual communication design.

No items found.


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 truely face difficulties during the return process.


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.


(1)Patients face difficulties in finding information and guidance regarding the return of their crutches once they no longer need them.

(2)Some people lack the incentives to return because they don't want to spend the money and time after they used the crutches.

(3)Hospitals don’t have effective signs/systems to remind people to return to their crutches.

How might we reduce the barriers to return crutches

by providing clear signs and guides, and increase incentives in the process,

so that more people can raise awareness and have incentives to return and reuse crutches?


Recrutch 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 return guidance 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)?


Our campaign can make more people aware of the need to return and reuse crutches, creating a wider impact and getting more crutches collected to help more people.

Users enjoy a better crutch returning experience by our service, find fulfilment in their empathetic contributions towards assisting others, and experience more happiness knowing that their tax payments are being widely utilised.

Hospitals can assist more individuals, simultaneously reducing the expenses associated with purchasing new crutches. This would allow them to allocate the saved funds towards other departments, thereby gaining increased trust from taxpayers.

Reusing crutches provide an excellent opportunity for carbon savings due to the high greenhouse gas intensity of aluminium manufacture.


We would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to our tutor, Nicolas. We are also deeply grateful to our partner, Shu Zhang, for her invaluable contributions and collaborative spirit throughout this endeavor. Lastly, we extend our sincerest thanks to all those tutors and students in Service Design and charities who have offered their assistance and support, as your help have truly made a difference in our project.

No items found.
No items found.