Saturday, 27 July 2013

A song that tells your story can you help - the story behind the song #life-stories #caring

Letters, Life and Love Stories - A Celebration of Caring in Scotland through Music and Words#

A song that tells the your story can you help


I am very shortly about to embark on new project on caring and life stories .One part of this new project is songs ,music and the special memories or stories that a certain songs have

If you have a song that tells your story, reminds you of someone, or somewhere, makes you smile, brings you comfort ,joy helps you get through the tough days then it would be great to hear from you and the story behind the song
You can help by sending your song and story to


And I love you sofor the good times my dad would sing these songs to mum at parties and it makes me both cry and my heart smile when I think of the love they had for each other and how much I miss them both they truly where the good times and I loved them so

U2 running to stand still
This song, in many ways was the story in my heart whilst caring for my mum and tells how I struggled inside so often you've got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising you voice

Letters, Life and Love Stories - A Celebration of Caring in Scotland through Music and Words

I am really excited to announce the latest project I will be involved in . 

Over the last few years I have been privileged to meet hundreds of inspirational people, hearing of their stories, experiences and motivation caring for a loved one, and not to forget the inspirational people who play such an important part supporting the carer journey.

This project will revisit some of these inspirational individuals and search for more along the way. I hope this project will help celebrate the stories of the people across Scotland who play such an important role.
We are really proud to announce the "Letters Life and Love Stories - A Celebration of Caring in Scotland in Music and Words” concert 20 January being held as part of Celtic Connections programme at the  Royal Concert Hall Glasgow.

The Letters, Life and Love Stories Gala Concert taking place during next year’s Celtic Connections will pay tribute to the love and dedication of Scotland’s carers and the part played by the many professionals and volunteers who contribute during the carer journey.
This unique partnership event between the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), Regular Music and Celtic Connections will celebrate the letters, lives and love stories of many for the 660,000 carers in Scotland and those who support them.
A key part of the concert is reaching out to inspirational people and asking them to share in music and words their caring journey.   The ALLIANCE will collect these stories and invite many of these inspiring individuals to join us at a pre-concert reception and the Gala Concert.

In advance of the concert, we will reach out, engage with and collect stories of peoples caring journey.  For carers we will collect the story of their journey with their loved one; for health and social care professionals we want to explore the motivation behind their caring role.  We want to collect the story behind your chosen song and its meaning to you.  You can share your story and song at
The reception and concert will celebrate and raise awareness of the dedication and love of individuals, families, communities and professionals in caring for our most vulnerable.
The idea of the concert came from a meeting with Tommy Whitelaw, Project Officer at the ALLIANCE, Mark Mackie from Regular Music > and Celtic Connections > Festival Director Donald Shaw where Tommy shared some of the letters and spoke about ways they could be brought to life by music.

Tommy Whitelaw, who worked for 20 years in the music industry, spent the last five years caring for his mum Joan who had dementia. He started a campaign, ‘Tommy on Tour’ to raise awareness, gathering letters from carers.

Tommy said
I started the campaign to raise awareness, travelling around Scotland’s towns and cities to gather letters from hundreds of carers and take them to the Scottish Parliament.
Among other things, the letters highlight the transformational impact that special health, social care and voluntary staff have had on their journeys, and most importantly the amazing lengths that carers go to through love.
Ian Welsh ALLIANCE Chief Executive said
“The concert is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and thank carers for their tireless and all too often unrecognized work.  We are excited by this great partnership opportunity to showcase the letters life and love stories of carers in Scotland.
At the ALLIANCE we aim to provide a stronger voice to carers and ensure they enjoy the right to live well!” 
The concert will be held on 20 January at 7.30pm in Glasgow Royal Concert Halls as part of Celtic Connections, the premier winter music festival in Scotland which will be held in 2014 between 16 January and 2 February.
With great thanks and respect to Mark and Donald for allowing us to be part of the Celtic Connections

can you help with a song and the story behind the song

More details will be released over the next months

For more information, please contact:
Tommy Whitelaw or Justine Duncan on 0141 404 0231 or

Some statistics about Carers
Carers in Scotland
1. There are 660,000 carers in Scotland – 1 in 8 of the population.
2. Every day almost 500 people take on a caring responsibility – that’s 178,000 people each year.
3. 3 in 5 of us will become carers at some point in our lives.
4. 110,000 people provide over 50 hours of care per week.
5. Over 250,000 people juggle caring with holding down a job.
6. By 2037 the number of carers in Scotland will have increased to around 1 million.
7. Carers save the Scottish economy £10.3 billion annually – the cost of providing NHS services in Scotland.
8. The main carers’ benefit is worth just £58.45 for a minimum of 35 hours.
9. Three quarters of carers are struggling to pay utility bills and more than half are cutting back on food and heating to make ends meet.
10. Three quarters of carers say their health is worse because of their caring responsibilities.
Source: Carers Scotland >


  1. Hi Tommy one of my poems from my blog...

    ‘Caring Flowers’

    The strong flower in some,
    strives to reach for the sun,
    to push for the best of funding and rest.
    While timid souls stop in shock and ask why?
    all their precious petals just curl up and die.

    Carers nurture another, a wife or a brother,
    some friend, maybe neighbour or kin.
    They struggle and care,
    On a wing and a prayer,
    no support, for the Carer within.

    So hard to understand,
    the deal of this hand.
    So easy to find,
    your in such demand.
    An accident or illness is all that it takes
    And just like most Carers, your life hits the breaks.

    To let Carers flower,
    We need to empower.
    To help them continue their role,
    In safety and comfort,
    with less of a struggle,
    that should be our far reaching goal.

    Don’t sit on the side,
    And this issue hide.
    We all need some kindness
    And support, it’s so true.
    Look closely at Carers,
    It so could be you.

    We Carers need to remember to keep carefully tending the flowers in our own soul too!
    Maz x

  2. We are each of us angels, with only one wing. We can only fly by embracing each other.
    Luciano De Crescenzo

    Isn't that a pretty poem and so apt for Carers?
    I thought you'd like it!
    Maz x

  3. Hi Tommy, had a wee think and this one is both mine and Coo's song...

    Daniel Bedingfield - Honest Questions

    Do you see a brighter day for me
    Another day, a day,
    Do you wonder what’s in store for me
    The cure for me, a way.

    Look down, see the tears I've cried,
    the lives I've lived, the deaths I've died,
    would you die them too...and all for me?

    I will pour my water down on a thirsty barren land and streams will flow through the dust of your bruised and broken soul.
    You will grow like the grass, on the fertile plains of Asia by the streams of living water you will grow...Oh, you will grow.

    Maz x

  4. For me it's Avril Lavigne, singing 'I'm with you', that is the most poignant. I am a Carer Support Worker here in Wales. I have a regular rota - that means I see the same people, at the same time, 6 nights out of seven. I am very lucky in that I have the time to actually engage with my clients. Not all care workers have this luxury.

    Avril Lavigne's lyrics are 'Take me by the hand, take me somewhere new. I don't know who you are, but I'm with you.'

    For me this really underlines the situation that some of my clients find themselves in. It's about the loneliness and isolation. The confusion and the sadness. The new found reliance upon someone, who the client, for some reason, feels they can trust.

    The most haunting of all for me, as a professional carer is 'won't somebody come and take me home.'


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