My tommy on tour campaign, now Dementia Carer Voices started whilst caring for my wonderful mum as a result of the struggles we faced, the crises we tried to avert and the way that for so many people, my mum became defined by her condition.
My mums life was a love story, full of kindness and understanding and I struggled to keep that love story going over the 6 years caring for mum. It felt too hard too often and the painful loneliness we felt still hurts till this day.
Of the letters I have received to date, many are difficult to read to, others make my heart smile but they are all, in essence, love stories. That's the point of this campaign, as a society we should be doing all we can to support and encourage love stories, keeping tragedy, fear, isolation, loneliness and lack of understanding as far away as possible.
In every case it has been the kindness and understanding of others that help and the lack of both that hold people back.
Yes we need policies, strategies, rights, but they mean nothing if not in the hands and hearts of the people we meet, the people who we engage with when needing care or support.
I truly believe our experiences good or bad can help others understand how important the part play matters
You can help me ,we can help others by sharing your story at firstname.lastname@example.org
My promise is the same promise i made to mum the day I started this awareness campaign to take those life stories to all who need to read them ,who have to read them to understand the part they should play and can play.
Kindness and understanding and a human listening understand ear can make the biggest difference of all.