Wednesday, 2 November 2011

One more week to go


So, on Thursday 10th November, at around 1pm, I'll be handing over the Tommy on Tour letters to Nicola Sturgeon. I still can't quite believe how far 'Tommy on Tour'' has gone since the start of this year, when I first thought about doing some sort of walk to meet carers of people with dementia, collect letters and make people sit up and take notice about the struggle carers face on a daily basis. I didn't have an agenda in mind. I didn't want to influence the letters people sent me. I just wanted to hear their stories. I suppose I really wanted to know if I was alone in what I was going through - caring for my lovely wee mum.

Well, Alzheimer Scotland have put together a report on the all the letters and the emails that were sent. There's quite a few. From the Highlands to the Borders. And if I've learned one thing from collecting the letters and meeting so many wonderful carers across Scotland it's that I'm not alone. I was never alone. But in some ways I almost wish I had been. If it was only me struggling, me finding it hard to cope, me banging my head against a brick wall, then maybe there was a simple answer and it would be easy to fix. But there's loads of carers like me. They've written to me, emailed me, met me and spoke to me. They've given me their stories in good faith and now I'm taking them to the Parliament - to the people who should be able to make at least some of the things I've been told about a bit better.

You might have seen an article in the Sunday Herald at the weekend. Russell, the journalist who interviewed me way back in January, did a follow-up interview about everything that's happened. You can read about it here Letters from the edge (you need to sign up to the Herald website to read it, but you can sign up for free). I'm also going to be on Radio Scotland again this Sunday morning, with Cathy Macdonald, on Sunday Morning with....

Last, but not least, I've got the video I'm going to be showing MSPs and you can now have a look at it on my blog. It's powerful stuff. I'm grateful to all the other carers who agreed to be filmed for this - thank you so much to Sandra, Margaret, John and Irene.



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