Are you a carer?

Please watch my short film, which includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent me.

If you're a carer and you'd like to send a letter in, you can post it to Tommy on Tour, 39 crosslee street glasgow g521sl. You can also email it to

Friday, 31 October 2014

ALLIANCE Christmas Networking event December 1st 12pm-

The ALLIANCE, Venlaw Building, 349 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4AA
Come and join us at our next members’ networking event: Self Management, Partnerships in Practice on Monday 1st December 2014 at 12pm
On the day, there will be three networking sessions to encourage sharing experiences. Explore partnership working, how to engage people and co-production. 
Inspirational speakers will share their achievements through effective partnerships and there will be some Christmas surprises. 
This event is open to all members of the ALLIANCE but may be of particular interest to you if you have any key experiences of self management and partnership working to share or you want to learn more about how others make their partnerships work. 
If you are interested in attending this event, e-mail including any access or dietary requirements
Please also list the networking sessions you would like to attend in order of preference. 
The networking sessions are: 
Partnership Working 
Engaging People 
We look forward to networking with you!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Speaking Media for Social Good -The Albany Learning and ConferenceCenter December 5th

Speaking Media for Social Good -The Albany Learning and Conference Center 


With great thanks to Ross McCulloch (Third Sector Lab - Digital agency for charities │ Head of Communications Founder  ) for the kind invite to speak at the Social Media for Social Good  December 5th 

You can get more details for the event The Albany Learning and Conference Center by clicking the link HERE 

I have had the great privilege to speak for Ross before and I look forward to attending,learning and speaking on December 5th 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Speaking at Citizens Advice Direct Scotland Annual General Meeting 2014

Looking forward to speaking at Citizens Advice Direct Scotland Annual General Meeting 2014 this Friday at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow at 6.30pm
Massive thanks to Andrew Bartlett for inviting me to speaking on the evening.

"Having outgrown The Corinthian, 2014's Advice Direct Scotland trading as Citizens Advice Direct's Annual General Meeting is moving to the Grand Ballroom at Glasgow's iconic Grand Central Hotel. Speakers include Nigel Kershaw, co-founder and chair of The Big Issue and CEO of Big Issue Invest, and the inspirational Tommy Whitelaw, who will talk about his mission to raise awareness of dementia.
The AGM will last for approximately one hour, followed by drinks, food and networking"

If you would like to attend please register through Eventbrite at:

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Sunday, 26 October 2014

7 days-17 talks-7 towns-cities-Another busy week For MakeADifferencetour


Well this week is a another busy week on my 'You Can Make A Difference Tour '  (186 talks across the UK )

Seven days seventeen talks across seven towns and cities 

I have 14 talks in Partnership with NHS Highland starting with 3 talks Fort William Monday, 4 talks Wick Tuesday, 4 talks Inverness Wednesday and last but not least Oban for 3 talks 

I then head from Oban to Dunblane late Thursday evening to speak at the HFMA Annual conference first thing Friday morning then later that day I will be speaking in Galsgow at the Citizens Advice Direct AGM

Next day I head off to Sunderland to speak at a the City Hosptial Sunderland End of Life Care Conference 

A busy but very exciting 7 days on my tour .A massive thank you to all of the above for the invites ,opportunities and support to get there 

I am so very much looking forward to meeting everyone listening,learning ,speaking meeting new and old friends along the way and I hope adding more personal pledges to our pledge wall


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Speaking Palliative and end of Life Care National ConferenceWolverhampton - via Compton Hospice Nov 12th

                                              DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg


With great thanks to Hazel Reveell and all the team from Compton Hospice for the kind invite to speak 
At their National Conference - Holistic approaches Palliative and end of Life Care  Wolverhampton -  Nov 12th

I look forward to attending ,learning ,listening and speaking about my wonderful mum and our Dementia Carer Vocies ' You Can Make A Difference ' Capmaign 

Thank you Hazel and all at Compton Hospice for the kind invite 


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Guest Post - A week in the life of an Allied Health Professions Dementia Consultant Jenny Reid

Todays guest blog post is from the great Jenny Reid, Allied Health Professions (AHP) Dementia Consultant working in NHS Lothian.  Thank you so much Jenny for taking the time to write such an informative post.  #makingadifference.


My name is Jenny Reid and I am an Allied Health Professions (AHP) Dementia Consultant working in NHS Lothian. There are four such posts in Scotland each with a different focus but working together as a team. The Allied Health Professions are a group of 10 different professions including:

  • Arts therapists (including art, music and drama)
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Podiatrists
  • Prosthetists and Orthotists
  • Radiographers (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • Speech and language therapists

I was delighted to be asked by Tommy to share my role through a guest blog on Dementia Carer Voices. One of the great things about my role is the variety, so in order to give you a flavour of some of the work I’m involved in I thought I would describe a week in the life of an AHP Dementia Consultant.


On Monday I was part of a team hosting a national event for AHPs involved in delivering post diagnostic support to people living with dementia, their families and carers.  The Connecting People, Connecting Support event was a one day conversation celebrating the best in supported self-management for people with dementia and co-creating the future direction.  The audience included Alzheimer Scotland Link Workers and Allied Health Professionals from around Scotland.  During the event we launched a new publication sharing good practice from around Scotland.  The Allied Health Professionals delivering Post-Diagnostic Support: Living Well with Dementia document is available online at:


The day was action packed with a range of speakers including Jacqui Lunday-Johnston (the Chief Health Professionals Officer in Scottish Government), Dr Claire Craig (Sheffield Hallam University), Amy Dalrymple (Alzheimer Scotland) and members of the Scottish Dementia Working Group.  In between the presentations Fiona McNeill and her associates hosted the conversation based on a series of powerful questions.  There is a webcast of the event for anyone who would like to see the day:

Tuesday included a meeting with colleagues from the occupational therapy team at Queen Margaret University and my colleague Elaine Hunter (AHP Consultant in Alzheimer Scotland).  We are working together to design opportunities for AHP students to learn the knowledge and skills they require to work effectively with people living with dementia, their families and carers.  This has included practice placements in Alzheimer Scotland services, AHP interns, an Alzheimer Scotland AHP PhD studentship and creating both undergraduate and masters level modules focusing on dementia for AHPs.

Wednesday was focused on meeting with around 30 AHPs working in Lothian across NHS services as well as three of the local authorities.  I am working with my AHP Practice Education Lead colleague to train AHPs in Lothian to a minimum of the Skilled Level in the Promoting Excellence framework.  There are around 1900 AHPs in Lothian so we are adopting a “train the trainer” model to allow us to train as many staff as possible.  This is the first cohort of staff who have signed up to be trainers and they are a really motivated and enthusiastic group of staff who will have trained around 250 staff by next summer and 500 by the end of next year.


On Thursday and Friday I had time to catch up with email and telephone calls and to do some much need preparation for various events and training sessions.  My job involves meeting with people from diverse services and the upcoming sessions which I spent time preparing for included Fire and Rescue Service staff involved in providing home fire safety visits and falls champions from NHS, Local authority, care home and leisure services.

I also spent time working on two poster presentations for the Alzheimer Europe Conference (20-22nd October in Glasgow), one on a national project to pilot an occupational therapy intervention in 6 different health boards in Scotland.  The Tailored Activity Programme (TAP) intervention aims to help carers to support the person with dementia to continue to engage in meaningful and enjoyable activities using their remaining abilities and compensating for the difficulties caused by their dementia.  This intervention has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce signs of stress and distress and reduce time carers spend in caring tasks.  If you would like any more information on the TAP project please go to

This is just a flavour of some of my work. If you would like more information on my role or on the work of the other AHP Dementia Consultants you can find lots o information including our update reports and the Dementia AHPproaches newsletter which I produce quarterly on our community of practice .  We are all active on twitter too so check out





There is also a weekly blog sharing some of the AHP Dementia work ( for new posts every Thursday morning.


A Thank You From My Heart 2360 ( to date ) Personal Pledges To Make ADifference


A BIG thank you from  the heart to everyone who has made a pledge so far ,for our  You Can Make A Difference Campaign and tour  as of today we have received just over 2350 PLEDGES 

I have  been taking the You Can Make aDifference campaign to staff and students throughout Scotland ,England ,Wales  to highlight that no matter what their role, everyone working in Health and Social Care Services has the potential to transform the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their carers, often in seemingly small ways. 

The talks involve sharing our own personal experiences from caring for my  late mum, Joan, and the experiences of others who have written to me  since I  wen ton tour in 2011. 

I hope The Talks - Tour- Campaign allows staff the opportunity to reflect on these personal stories and make a pledge based on one key message or action that they will take away and apply to their everyday practice to make a difference. 
Some of the pledges received so far include;

“I pledge to view the person I care for as all that they have been, all that they are and all that they can be.” 

I pledge to treat people with dementia and their carers the way I would like to be treated.”

“I pledge to make a difference as the future nurse to listen to the carers and patient.  To give them the best support and care they needed and not to make them ever feel isolated.”

How you can make a pledge 

We launched the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ Campaign in February of this year and it has been so inspiring to see it grow. Tommy Whitelaw has given over 100 talks already this year, with 178  scheduled in total, and we wanted to really thank those who have gotten involved and made it all possible. The talks involve  Tommy sharing his own personal experiences from caring and the experiences of others who have written to him since he went on tour in 2011, to help people understand some of the issues that carers face, and what we can all do to help overcome these issues.

The campaign  has really shown the difference that every single person can make, no matter how small it may seem. This has been through asking people to reflect on carers experiences, and tomake a pledge about one key action they could take to really have a positive impact in the lives of others. Some of the pledges have been about a simple change in attitude such as “I pledge to listen with open ears and open heart.” This type of change is one that we can all implement in our own lives, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we do.

The full collection of pledges, along with further information on the campaign can be accessed online at, where you can submit your own pledge to make a difference.
To get in touch, please call the project team on 0141 404 0233 or email

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Starts Tomorrow Tour with NHS Highlands - Fort William -Wick - Inverness -Oban 14 talks

With great thanks to Ruth Mantle Dementia Nurse Consultant ,Mamie Thompson Head of engagement NHS Highland for the wonderful opportunity  to tour together again across the areas the Board covers October 27th - 0ctober 14 talks in total 

We had a wonderful few days of joint talks  in Inverness last year ,in fact this was the springboard for the make a difference tour that followed

So a BIG thank you to all the team and I am very much looking forward to touring with everyone finding more about the work and initiatives across Highland and doing some make a difference talks together

You can follow Ruth @ruth_mantle  and Mamie @nhshmt  on twitter for updates

Thank you team NHS Highland


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Today Speaking ( 2 talks) Adult Services Support Team Families-Wellbeing Directorate Warrington



With great thanks to Sandra Boldison Heads of Adult Services Support Team Families & Wellbeing Directorate Warrington Borough Council for the kind invite to give two talks to staff at 
The Werburgh’s Development Centre Warrington

I had the great privilege to speak in Warrington last week at the Warrington Hospital Dementia Conference and I am very honoured to be invited back this time by Sandra and the adult service support team 

There will be two talks 1pm and 3pm to an audience of Social Workers, care at home support teams and Adult Services Support Team Families & Wellbeing Directorate

Thank you Sandra and all concerned for the kind invite 

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Honored invited to speak East and North Herts NHS Trust Student Conference Lister Hospital



With great thanks to Carolyn Fowler Assistant Director of Nursing, Education and Research East & North Herts NHS Trust for the kind invite to speak at Student conference Lister Hosptial November 21st 

I had the great privilege speak at meet and listen to Caroylin speaking at a patients stories conference a few weeks back and I am very honored to be invited to speak at the student conference 

Also very excited and honored to be asked to judge the student poster conference 

Thank you Carolyn and all at East & North Herts NHS Trust for the kind invite 


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Honoured Speaking Burton Hospital NHS Trust Dementia Strategy Launch Nov 7th


I am so very honoured to be invited to attend and speak at the Burton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Dementia Strategy and Forget Me Not  Care Bundle Launch November 7th

I had the great privilege to speak there a few weeks back ( you can read more on that day below )

Thank you Alison Haynes Lead nurse Dementia Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust For the kind invite to attend and speak 

Thank You 


MY Previous Visit  
With great thanks to Leanne Siekiera Student Nurse and Alison Haynes Lead nurse Dementia Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust For the kind invite to attend and speak at the Dementia Champions Forum earlier today  Burton Hospital Burton On Trent

Thank you to everyone who took time to attend and for the great kindness 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak and for the support make it to the forum 

I look forward to visiting again soon 

Please see the inspiring pledges from today 

I pledge to take time and ensure every patient with dementia has a voice and is heard – Jane

I pledge to support patients and carers every day and think of others – Jenny

I pledge to learn more about dementia and the person behind the disease and take the time to help more people that are living with dementia – Lynda Horswell

I pledge to strive to continually improve the patient and carer experience whilst at Burton NHS Foundation Trust – Alison Haynes

I shall always ask “what can I do today to make you smile?” I shall also prompt and encourage colleagues – Jude

To provide reassurance, comfort and listen attentively. Acknowledge that I care – Lorna Hough

I pledge to find out what`s important to the person I care for – Joylyn Thomas

My pledge is to always take time and listen to my patients. To find out the “little things” that matter to them and deliver care with a person centred approach – Leanne Siekiera

I pledge to find time to let the person have a voice and be listened to and to let the know I care – Denise Harlow

My pledge as a student nurse is to find out and take as much time as possible to get to know my patient suffering with dementia – Kirsty

My pledge is to look after each of my patents individually. I promise to always treat my patients with care and compassion – Sophie Lane

I pledge that when I leave patients after doing an activity with that they have a big smile on their face – Sharon 

My pledge is to make a difference every day for patients and carers with dementia. I will do this by incorporating within the strategy of the `little things` and engage with staff and follow this up – Julie Thompson

My pledge is to continue to treat all patients with dementia with the love and dignity they deserve and respect the hard work of all the carers – Eleanor Maxwell

I will try to be more understanding, compassionate; I will listen to the patients. I will try to make them smile and champion the dementia care within our hospital – Katherine

My pledge is to continue to be and show compassion to every person I meet.

My pledge is to listen and engage with volunteers and teach them to listen deeply to patients that they support on wards – Marion

My pledge is to work towards developing a listening service for carers within the trusts dementia strategy – Elly


Leanne is a friend on twitter and has been a great support to my campaign and work  you can read a blog post from Leanne on the @WeNurses community site  here

A BIG thank you Leanne and Allison for the kind invite and opportunity .I look  forward tomeeting  everone ,hearing more about the dementia champions and speaking about my wonderful mum and our make a difference tour 

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg