Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dementia Carer Voices Newsletter Update October 2013

Tommy's top award for dementia campaigning

The team are delighted to announce that our Project Officer, Tommy Whitelaw was presented with the Jess Barrow Award for Campaigning and Influencing at this year’s Age Scotland Awards, held at the Scottish Parliament. The award recognises an individual or group whose campaigning has highlighted a specific issue and affected change to benefit older people.
Brian Sloan, Age Scotland Chief Executive said: “This award is truly well deserved. Tommy has demonstrated tenacity and creativity in his campaign, and genuinely helped change perceptions and attitudes towards people with dementia and their carers.”
Tommy said “I feel honoured to have received the Age Scotland Jess Barrow Award. As a son, thank you to Age Scotland, and to everyone who has participated and supported me on this campaign.” 

Public consultation due on supporting carers in Scotland

Programme Director Irene Oldfather and Project Officer Tommy Whitelaw were delegates at this year’s meeting of the Carers’ Parliament at Holyrood on October 1st, which gave carers from all over Scotland the opportunity to discuss the issues they face.
Programme Director, Irene Oldfather said “It was great to share the day with unpaid carers from across Scotland who are working day in day out to support loved ones. On dementia while we have one of the most highly developed policy frameworks, it was clear from listening to the views of carers that there is a road yet to travel to ensure that on the ground people know their rights and that they are equal and valued partners in care. The Dementia Carer Voices project works to promote rightsand awareness of issues around living with dementia."
At the event, First Minister Alex Salmond announced proposals for new legislation to support carers and young carers. The plans include measures aiming to improve carers’ health and wellbeing, to enable access to community support networks and help establish consistency across the whole of Scotland.   
The Scottish Government will hold a consultation later this year and provide an opportunity for carers, young carers, the wider public and professionals from the statutory and voluntary sectors to share their views on the proposals. 

Meeting with Cabinet Secretary

Programme Director Irene Oldfather and Project Officer Tommy Whitelaw had a productive meeting with Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil on September 19th.
As well as updating on project activity to date, issues discussed included raising awareness of the importance of access to support and the team provided a copy of the “It’s Ok to Ask” DVD produced in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.  


We want to hear from you!

Dementia Carer Voices aims to provide a platform upon which carers can express their views and experiences of caring for a loved one living with dementia. The project team have put together a short survey to enable them to capture key messages around the impact of caring, and experiences of accessing support and services which will be used to influence future policy. 
Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey so far. If you would like to have your say on your hopes and concerns for the future, you can contribute by visiting
Project Team 
Irene Oldfather, Programme Director
Tommy Whitelaw, Project Officer -
Christopher Doyle, Policy and Information Assistant -

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