Friday, 27 June 2014

From crowded rooms to this empty house I call my home

The last months ,year  have been the busiest times in so many ways 
I think last year I spoke at 80 events and this year  will reach over 100 ,in fact I have been a guest speaker at 30 events - talks so far this year 

This is one side of the project the other is meetings and working with the team on ideas and reports  
It has been a hectic time and I am grateful for the opportunities to raise awareness as this in my passion and to be honest I have not had much time to think between talks and travelling 

I returned home late night from Middlesbrough  and as I walked down the street once again  looking at the house in darkness ,emotions as they do sometimes  hit quite hard 

I sat in the  darkened sitting room  and it all got a bit much almost not wanting to walk up the stairs to pass the empty room that mum was confined to over the last months .And I just miss her

My wee ,mum in amongst our struggles and over the last 5 years was also (with dad ) my best  pal I have spent the last weeks months years  in crowded rooms speaking at events in many ways papering over the cracks of a broken heart  and my heart IS broken 

We struggled and suffered great great loneliness over the last 5 years but I was never truly lonely not with my wee mum by  my side 

Today  I feel lonely and so sad inside for a mum who deserved much better thank she got and  to often I was able to give

I struggle sometimes coming home from crowded rooms to this empty house ,this empty heart  and I miss my wee mum who no matter what she faced made sure her big boy was ok

For mum 

Wednesday - speaking Croy Dementia Cafe Ayrshire


with great thanks to June Price and Marie for the kind invite to attend and speak at the Dementia Cafe Croy Ayrshire 

i look forward to meeting everyone  attending and learning more about they great work they and giving a wee "Make a Difference Talk "

You Can Read More about the Cafe below 

The cafe started in December with 9 people attending. It has grew in numbers to between 30 and 40 people attending every month now. June and  Marie researched the cafe and visited other cafes. they  then worked on decor etc as they  wanted the cafe to be a friendly and cafe like experience for carers and their  relatives to come and have a cup of tea with home baking etc.  

they  also made up a book with who’ s who at the cafe so everyone will know  what services are attending the cafe on a monthly basis  they also have theme days at the cafe, the July cafe will be American independence day with a taste and try corner will all delicious food things from America.  The last cafe had a memory table with all things from days gone by.  We have all the services here from Doctors,  Physiotherapist ,speech and language , care home liaison   Nurses , Dieticians, C.P.N.s Pharmacists,  etc , so any one attending the cafe need any information from any of the services they are all on hand to help with any problems that may arise.  But mostly it is just a nice friendly cafe for carers and their relatives to come and be themselves and to know that they are not alone on this terrible journey through Dementia.  

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Busy week ahead- 5 talks Edinburgh - Dundee - Glasgow - Ayr -Birmingham


This week marks another busy week for the Dementia Carer Voices team. We are delighted to be engaging with some our partners across Europe this week, and Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw will be back out on tour with 5 talks in  Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow, Ayr, and Birmingham.
Today, Programme Director Irene Oldfather will be meeting with fellow EUPATI members to discuss developments in medicines and research in the UK.
This afternoon, Tommy will be meeting with Dan Harley from Person Centred Scotland  and will also be delivering a series of talks from Wednesday. Firstly on Wednesday morning in Edinburgh at the Improving Links In Primary Care end of project Conference, followed by speaking at the Care Inspectorate event in Dunblane  to speak to staff  who work across the offices in communications – development and other back room team members.
Make a pledge about dementia
Meanwhile, we will also be attending the Cross-Party Group on Dementia which will focus on the design of care homes and the training of care home staff. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to represent carers and their experiences which we have gathered from events, oursurvey and a wealth of heartfelt letters. We feel very privileged to have heard so many moving stories, and to be able to make sure that these stories are listened to.
On Thursday, Tommy will be delivering another two talks, firstly at the Beardmore Conference Centre speaking at the  “facing the future together event as part of a series of talks across different departments of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This is followed by the 7th out of a series of 8 talks with NHS Ayrshire and Arran at University  hospital Ayr.
Thursday also sees the Human Rights Action Group on Health and Social Care meeting, which includes representatives of a wide range of public and voluntary organisations and engages with people directly affected to ensure actions are informed by lived experiences.
On Friday, Tommy will be delivering another talk in Birmingham, at BCDA an open talk on dementia and caring.
We’re looking forward to another busy week, and gathering more pledges from people who want to make a difference – together we can.

Team Dementia Carer Voices.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Today speaking Community Children’s Nursing Team - Schools NHSGGBeardmore conference center


A big thank you to Donna and all the team who attended today 

Thank you for the great kindness 



With thanks to Donna Hunter from NHSGG for the kind  invite to speak at the  "Facing The Future Together day " NHSGG Beardmore conference center this Thursday 

  "A day for children's nurses who work in Special Educational Schools. ( or now called ASL Schools - Additional Support for Learning Schools)

There is a new development whereby an annual assessment will have to be conducted with children, parent/carers and we want to ensure we're getting carers perspective on what would be helpful for them."

I met Donna a few months back when I was speaking at a Yorkhill Hospital pediatricians conference at the same venue and she has kindly asked me to speak on Thursday at the event  
Thank you Donna for the opportunity to bring  my "You Can Make A Difference " Talk / tour to the event 


Community Children’s Nursing Team - Schools

26 June 2014 | The Beadmore Hotel & Conference Centre | Day Conference

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Today speaking - Improving Links in Primary Care event-Alliance. Scotland and RCGP Scotland project


with great thanks to Christine Hoy for the kind invite to speak at the Improving Links in Primary Care end of project event on June 25th 
I had the great privilege to speak for Christine at the launch last year and feel very honoured to be invited back to speak again 
You are invited to join us as we share findings from Improving Links in Primary Care – a joint Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and RCGP Scotland project, funded by Scottish Government. This is an exciting opportunity to share ideas on how future developments in primary care can contribute to our ambition of supporting the people of Scotland to live well.
Chairing the Event will be the clinical lead of the project; Professor Stewart Mercer, chair in Primary Care Research (General Practice and Primary Care) University of Glasgow 
Event highlights include:
  • Hear Tommy Whitelaw’s Carer’s story
  • Four General Practice teams from accross Scotland share their experience of making community connections
  • Demonstration of the ALISS National application (a new national resource)
  • Updates from 3rd sector and community groups, the Link Worker programme and initiatives contributing to future models for community facing primary care in Scotland.
This is a FREE event

For more information, please contact:
Lorna Prentice on 0141 404 0239 or email



Coffee and Registration
Welcome from the Chair
Ian Welsh, Chief Executive, The ALLIANCE
A Story of Missing Connections
Tommy Whitelaw, Project Lead,  Dementia Carer Voices
Improving Links in Primary Care Introduction and Evaluation
Professor Stewart Mercer, Chair in Primary Care Research, University of Glasgow
Dr Eddie Donaghy, Research Fellow University of Edinburgh
Christine Hoy, Primary Care Development Manager, The ALLIANCE
Social prescribing in primary care project
Helena Richards, Project Manager, Community Compass
Coffee and Networking
Group work
Feedback and reflections
Professor Stewart Mercer
Lunch and Networking
Welcome from afternoon Chair
Dr Miles MackChair Elect, RCGP Scotland
Improving Links in Primary Care
Practice Leads’ Experience
Lynne Pollock, Loch Leven Health Centre, Kinross
Dr Frank Weber, Maryfield Medical Centre Dundee
Dr Ishbel Millar, Jackie Connor, Craigmillar Medical Group, Edinburgh
Demonstration of ALISS
Jane Ankori, ALISS Programme Director, The ALLIANCE
Community Orientated Primary Care in Scotland
Dr Graham KramerScottish Government Clinical Lead for Self Management and Health Literacy

The Links Worker Programme

Mark Charlton, Programme Manager, The ALLIANCE
Health Commons
Christine Hoy, the ALLIANCE
Professor Stewart Mercer

For Twitter use #primarycarelinks


Today - speaking Care Inspectorate Admin Development Day


Wednesday 25 June 2014

§   Have a deeper knowledge and understanding of our core business and how we all contribute to improving care for people who use care services.
§   Have a deeper understanding of a rights based high quality, safe and compassionate care and how we all contribute to this.
§   How involving people in our work is so vital to meeting our strategic objectives.
§   Launch the learning and development pathways for admin staff – the important of continuous professional development in an emerging landscape of tighter financial constraints, technological advances and increasing societal expectations.

9.15am                 Arrivals and Registration - Tea/coffee/bacon rolls/egg rolls

9.30am                 Welcome and Introductions
‘The Care Inspectorate Vision, Values and Purpose’ and how the Business Support Service is a vital component to our success - Annette Bruton, Chief Executive

10.00am              A ‘Journey Through Care’ - Johnny’s Story, Kibble Education and Care Centre
10.30am              Whose responsibility is it any way? - Public Protection, Fiona Stevenson, NSPCC

11.20am               COMFORT BREAK

11.40am               ‘A Carer’s Story’ – Experiences of Dementia - Tommy Whitelaw, Carer/
                                Health & Social Care Alliance  

12.30pm               BUFFET LUNCH (opportunity for networking)

1.30pm                 ‘If it weren’t for the business support service’ - Robert Peat, Director of Inspection

1.40pm                 Quality Assurance – What it means for us and our role within it?
Helen Happer, Head of Quality & Improvement

2.10pm                 Learning & Development PathwaysGeneric Courses Available overview by
Carol Grieve, Business Support Manager

2.30pm                 COMFORT BREAK (take coffee back to table)

2.40pm                 New Admin Award – What will it look like? And when will it be available?
Joe McGhee, Inspection Award Co-ordinator

3.00pm                 Question Time – Annette Bruton, Robert Peat, Carol Grieve, Kath McCabe, Joe McGhee
3.20pm                 Reflections and Summary of Day – Robert Peat, Director of Inspection

3.30pm                 Close 

Great honour invited to give Dementia Masterclass 2014 BCDAlearningBirmingham June 27th


A big thank you to all who took time to attend today ,thank you for the #kindness 

Will the pledges and more once home - a few wee photos from today 



with great thanks to Lisa Jones Workforce Development Project Officer bcda Learning & Development Service Birmingham for the kind Invite to speak at their MasterClass event June 27th 

I had the great privilege to speak for BCDA a few months back at their learning day 
after a kind invite from Susie Banks one of the learning development team leaders 

Thank you Lisa Susie and the all the team at BCDA for this kind invite and opportunity to return and speak to a wider audience 

Thank you Lisa , Safdar and all the team bcda 



Thursday, 19 June 2014

speaking at The BIG North Wales Co-Production Meet-up:‘Skills, stories and sharing what works’

Uncomfortable zoneHi 

With great thanks to Pam Luckock @luckockp and Fran Ohara @Fran_Ohara 
For the kind invite to attend and speak at 

The BIG North Wales Co-Production Meet-up: ‘Skills, stories and sharing what works’ 

I will also be stating with my great friends Chris @mason4233 and Jayne @jaynegoodrick  while there and I am truly looking forward to spending time with friends 

I am very honored to be invited to attend and speak ,you can get more detail below 

Thank you 

'Working With Not To' Co-Production Project - working across Wales to grow co-production from grassroots upwards

Your Invitation to the N Wales BIG Co-Production Meetup!

8 July 2014, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

A day of stories to inspire, come to listen, share and learn about co-production, and people working with each other to achieve what matters to them. The BIG meet-up has been designed in sections, so people can come for part or all of the day. 
It will be an interactive learning event, with people at the centre - everyone welcome. We would really like 50% of people at the meetup to be citizens, so everyone's voices and stories are heard in the conversations. We use visual methods to engage and capture the conversations - please join us and share this event. 

Speaker presentations include 'Tommy on tour - you can make a difference' Tommy Whitelaw, Dr Alan Hatton-Yeo MBE, Geoff Thomas (Time-Bank Wales), Bethan Williams (Mantell Gwynedd) and more!

Plus travelling conversations, stalls, table discussions and workshops, including:
Co-Production and... Prudent Healthcare / Place-making / Direct payments / Time-Banking / Communities of all ages / Young People / Social Enterprise / Café conversations / Mental Health / Well-Being / 1 person's story.
For more information, to download English and Welsh leaflets and to book please visit: or eventbrite
If you would like to run a workshop, host a table conversation or rent / run a stand or stall please contact us. If you need a lift or any support to attend the event we will try to arrange it.
We are holding a World Café from 5.30 and an open pay-yourself dinner on 07.07.14 in Llandudno.
At the meetup the first session will be a table facilitation training workshop. Feedback from previous meetups has shown that when tables have a host the conversations are more inclusive, so we would like to offer a 1 hour training session. The attendees can then practice their skills at the BIG Meetup! please email: for more information on either of these.

We are holding 
'Working With Not To' Co-Production SW Wales Meet-up 6 in Porthcawl on 18 June 2014. 40+ people are already attending, if you would like to find out more please visit: Thanks!

Please share both these events - many thanks, we really appreciate it.
Pam Luckock and Fran O'Hara
Directors, 'Working With Not To' Co-Production Project



My mums name was Joan ,my Mum Had Dementia - our Story 9 Short Films

Tommy’s speech, providing a carer’s perspective,  on the theme of “ No – one ever asked   ” highlighted the transformational impact that ...