Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Thank you earlier Today Speaking team Drumchapel Hospital NHSGG


With great thanks to Tracy Donaldson Practice Education Facilitator NHSGG for the kind invite to speak to staff at Drumchapel hospital earlier today .I had a wonderful tour of the amazing new gardens opened today  for patients and staff ( I will post some photos later ) 

Thank you to all who took time to attend  my wee talk and for the kindness 

I have been a guest speaker for Tracy a few times before at both the Victoria Infirmary and RAH in Paisley

Tracy very kindly Nominated for the NHSGG Chairman’s awards last year that I was proud to be awarded and we have become firm friends  the last years .I was very proud to have Tracy as one of my guests at our concert for caring last year

Looking forward to seeing Tracy ,meeting all the team and speaking on august 27th


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
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Monday, 25 August 2014

Today Speaking care at home and tele care staff North Ayrshire Council

Speaking care at home and tele care staff North Ayrshire Council Tuesday

With great thanks to Tony Fisher from North Ayrshire Council for the kind invite to speak to speak next week at a  Care at Home and tele care,event-Front Line Staff Event on Tuesday 26 August
in the Ardeer Community Centre in Stevenston. The event will be attended and addressed by Councillor Robert Steel who is the Carers Champion in North Ayrshire  staff will also  hear presentations on
the Dementia Support Service,engagement with service users and telecare.

I have had the great privilege to speak for Tony before at quite a few event across Ayrshire in fact I was a guest speaker a few week ago in Largs for him and look forward to attending and speaking again

You can get more info on the great  work North Ayrshire Dementia support services do at the links here


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

A busy week – 5 TALKS -Steventson – Drumchapel- Glasgow –Perth – Teesside – College


Another busy week for our ‘Make A Difference ‘ tour

Tuesday I will be speaking at the NorthAyrshire Council care at home and tele care staff event for Tony Fisher from North Ayrshire Council

Wednesday I start a part time 2 year course ‘workingwith communities ‘ at Anniesland College later that day I am the guest speaker at Drumchapel Hospital for Tracy Donaldson from the practice and development team NHSGGC

Friday I have two talks in the Morning speaking at Social Media for social good event at the Albany centre for Third Sector Lab later that afternoon I head of too Perth to speak  at the Crossreach Dementia Ambassadorscelebration

Last but by no means least I am speaking at the student led conference Teesside University with great thanks to Michelle Hudson for the invite

Looking forward to a busy week of meeting people ,learning ,and hopefully make a difference pledges

you can view all the talks on the tour at the link here 

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Wednesday Starting college HNC Working with Communities 2 year course Anniesland Campus


with great thanks to Ian ,Irene Veronica and the ALLIANCE for the support and opportunity to start a 2 year college course on working with communities
The project started from my bedroom whilst caring for my mum and now a 3 year Scottish Government project at the ALLIANCE

 is with hard work from all the team growing and its of great importance I grow with the project 

so step One is the college course with a few more steps being worked on and announced soon        

HNC Working with Communities

This course is designed to provide people who are actively working within the community the opportunity to gain credit and recognition for skills, qualities and learning gained through their experience.

Course content

Community Learning & Development:
  • Accountability for and Management of Resources 
  • Learning Approaches 
  • Group Work 
  • Principles and Practice 
  • Social Science Approaches 
  • Workplace Practice 
  • Group Award Graded Unit
  • Adult Learning 
  • Capacity Building 
  • Promoting Health in Community 
  • Working with Young People 

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Friday, 22 August 2014

August 22nd 2012 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visits my mum home


I have been reading back through my blog ,mums journey with dementia ,and our wee campaign and the post below came up a month to the day before mum passed away and I thought I would re- post the day mum had a very special visitor 

On the 22nd August 2012 Scotland's First Minsiter Nicola Sturgeon came to visit my mum at home and hold her had  and I am so very grateful for the kindness we felt and I continue to receive  to this  day 

August 22nd 2012 

we had a visitor at home Yesterday (we don’t get many) the Deputy First  and health minister Nicola Sturgeon came to visit and meet my mum and have a wee look at life at home caring for a loved one

It was a very private visit and the fulfillment of a promise made when we last met to discuss the letters I receive and I am grateful as I have spent a lot of time over the last year discussing my mums life in public on my quest  to raise awareness  I first contacted the DFM  over a year ago to tell her of my plans to collect life stories and she promised if I did she would  invite me speak at parliament and read the letters I collected  .

A few months back When we met , the DFM  asked if she could meet my mum ,my personal reason  the MUM. behind my campaign As mum is a biggest part of my life and campaign 

 I am happy to say that promise was  fulfilled today A private visit and discussion but very moving 

due to  my mums health she is unable to come with me on my talks ,when I had the privilege of handing over letters and speaking in one of the rooms at the Scottish Parliament last year  I was proud to do so and wished my mum could have been there.Today part of the Scottish Parliament came to meet my mum  in her home and the biggest part of my life and tour was the biggest part of a special day 

With thanks to the DFM for reading our life stories and keeping the promises she has made this son to date and for taking time to meet the mum behind this campaign 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The ALISS Programme team make their pledges -find our more about The ALISS Programme and pledges here


The ALISS Programme team make their pledge to Dementia Carer Voices…
Tommy’s Story
The first time the ALISS team heard Tommy share his story, we were reminded of why the ALISS Programme will make such a difference to people like Tommy and his mum Joan.
Tommy spoke about feeling lost: no one helped him find support, when in fact there was support available all around in the community. The ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland) Programme aims to help people find useful community resources, so that people like Tommy don’t feel alone and unsupported.
The ALISS programme team have made their pledge to support the Dementia Carers Voices project, to support the work that Tommy and his team are doing to help raise awareness and promote a fuller understanding of the carer journey. We pledge to continue our own work, in order that people who are disabled, living with long term conditions or delivering unpaid care can find the support they need.

Individual pledges
Jane Ankori, ALISS Programme Director
I pledge to ensure ALISS is available across Scotland, in order that people like Tommy and his mum can easily find sources of support within their own communities.

Lesley Roome, ALISS Programme Development Officer
I pledge to encourage and promote support within communities in Scotland. Helping people find support that is available to them, which could improve their health and wellbeing

Kevin Brolly, Lead Technical Officer
I pledge to use technology to help people easily find sources of support across Scotland

Lorna Prentice, ALISS Programme Administrator
I pledge to show kindness, treating people with the respect they deserve and will help to promote self-management support in Scotland

Andy Hyde, ALISS consultant
I pledge to work with people living with long term conditions and their carers in the development of new information services – we’ll build better signposting services by creating them together

Posted in Uncategorized
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Guest Post - Chris Roberts writes about Life - Dementia Mentors andDementia Friends

With great thanks to me dear Friend Chris Roberts for writing this guest post for both Dementia Carer Voices and my Tommy on Tour blog site 

Special thanks to Chris Roberts for this weeks guest stop for Dementia Carer Voices and for sharing your thoughts and letting us into a part of your life.  Chris is a great supporter of the project, always sharing our info via social media so we are privileged to have him write this piece for us.

When you get diagnosed with an illness that will lead to dementia your whole world gets turned upside down, after medication has been discussed, power of attorney put in place, wills made or remade, you suddenly realise you have so many questions, but the time you had to ask has been and gone.
Your whole family is affected, relationships become strained, the whole family share the diagnosis.
It’s so hard to explain how you feel, what’s going and more important what isn’t going on ! You can start to feel so alone, it almost becomes us and them ! 
There is lots of information out there if you look hard enough, lots of support for folk helping to care and help you, if, again you look hard enough.
I and my wife became  very involved in dementia awareness and promoting education and understanding because for a really well known word, everyone has heard of dementia, we couldn’t believe how little most folk know about.
We became Dementia Friends Champions, we do it together as a pair, as a couple because that’s what we are, a team ! Especially since I don’t drive of cross roads very well on my own any more, but as a team my wife helps me to give the 45min session, we’ve yet to see folk that attend not being interested.
But I still thought yes there is room for more help for the person living with dementia, I then came across two Americans on the internet, Harry Urban, who has Alzheimer’s and Gary LeBlanc, who cared for his father.
They were thinking just the same and came up with a website aimed at folk with dementia, made the whole site very user friendly, in fact it’s excellent.
They recruited a few folk that had various illnesses that came under the dementia umbrella and asked us to make small 3min video’s on subjects that might of help to others. These are shown for a month then archived, then different ones are shown. The knock on effect is that one day you can feel quite useless, then make a video that helps others and you get your confidence back, you are now making a difference. 
This has now led to three online virtual memory caf├ęs a week using a software called zoom, that is so easy to use, and you’ve then got people from all walks of life, from lots of different countries chatting and helping each other, all of a sudden you are not alone any more.
This website, which was aimed at diagnosed, is also a great source of insight for all, family members, professionals and cafe staff etc, it helps one to understand what is going on in our lives, bug the biggest message is ‘ you can live well ‘ or at better with the right support , you get that support with understanding. 
Folk only think of the late stages, well there is also a beginning and middle !
Please vist dementiamentors.com and if you have dementia, please get involved, you aren’t alone.
Who am I you ask, my name is Chris Roberts ( mason4233 on twitter ), I’m 53 years old with mixed dementia and emphysema, married and have a family,
I’m ‘living ‘rather than ‘suffering  ‘it’s not always good, we’ve cried, we have problems, but no ones going to fix this and time is short, so I’m making the most of my time, I owe it to my family. x

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Thank you NHS Ayrshire and Arran 500 staff attend Making A Difference talks

Taken from our Dementia Carer Voices Site 

Dementia Carer Voices would like to say a huge thank you to NHS Ayrshire and Arran for their commitment to the Make A Difference Campaign. The whole team have reacted so strongly to the You Can Make a Difference message, and it’s been inspiring to get such a positive response. We are delighted to say that from these events, together we have collected a total of 266 pledges so far! We’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who have taken the time to listen, and to make a pledge – we really can make a difference.
photo 8
The tour would not have been possible without the help of Derek Barron, Fiona McQueen, Janice McAlister, Amanda Johnson and Lynne McLaughlin  from NHS Ayshire and Arran. They not only invited Tommy to share his experiences, but have shown their commitment to listening to the experiences of patients and carers, and supporting staff to make a difference. This support has been from every level within NHS Ayrshire and Arran, as Tommy was invited by the Chief Executive to lead off his ‘staff talks’ by giving a talk in a formal Board meeting, where they started off the process of making a pledge.  This enthusiasm has been reflected throughout the organisation, with Senior Charge Nurse Lynsey Renfrew  encouraging staff to attend and even taking a pledge tree for her ward so that all staff in Ward 5D can reflect on the difference that they can make to the lives of the people they work with.
Each pledge that we have collected represents a huge milestone not just for the campaign but for the people of Ayrshire and Arran. The team at NHS A&A have aligned the pledges to their 10 Key Action Points to showcase how both the pledges and the Action Points can be fulfilled, giving meaning and context to each other.
photo 10               photo 10
At the talks, the staff were encouraged to make a pledge and hang it on one of the pledge trees, which are now being displayed in dining rooms which are open to both staff and the public.
photo 9
NHS Ayrshire & Arran have an intranet site which is now going to display all of the pledges that have been made during the tour so that staff can view them.  In six months, these will be re-circulated and staff will be asked to review their pledges and say if they have met their pledge. This feedback will be gathered anonymously to promote honesty and open up a dialogue as to how staff can be supported to keep their pledges.
Tommy has spoken to 524 staff at 10 talks, ranging from nurses, allied health professionals, medics, students, administration and support staff, social work, fire and rescue and police colleagues. We are delighted to say that there are already more talks being planned for August, and look forward to continuing to work together.
Fiona McQueen’s ‘Viewpoint’ blog piece spoke of the NHSaaa experience has had over 5000 hits, with over 900 retweets on Twitter. The use of social media in particular has been a great tool for sharing information and creating an easy way for people to get involved and to speak to others who are keen to make a difference. From tweets to wordeo clips, the campaign has really been strengthened and accessible to staff and members of the public alike.
Thank you again to everyone involved - we really can make a difference.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thank You Ealier Today Speaking Quarriers Practise Development GroupBridge of Weir

A big thank you to Shirine and all team for the great kindness and welcome today
I  had a lovely time meeting everyone hearing from other speakers and learning more about the work and passion from all the team at the Quarriers

Thank you



With great thanks to Shirine Carrigan operational Manager Adults  Quarriers for the kind Invite to speak at the next Practise Development Group ('PDG' developed to allow managers to share good practise and ideas across the services.)

Quarriers adult services support people who experience dementia and support people into the latter years of life

I look forward to attending meeting everyone and speaking 

Thank you Shirine for the kind invite 

You can find out more about the great work the Quarriers do at the link below 

Along with the Agenda for the day 

,Its people who make a difference A  big thanks to Ashley for her passion  to make this happen  

Hi Tommy. U spoke to a group of mental health nursing students at GCU this year and I was one of them. I then went home & told my mum (Shirine Carrigan) how inspiring and motivating your story was & she immediately wanted u to speak to her colleagues at Quarriers! I've worked with Quarriers as a support worker for 8 years now & I'm over the moon that they are going to hear your story! Take care x

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Monday, 11 August 2014

Tomorrow attending - Invited on to Promoting Excellence Dementia Programme board via NHSEducation Scotland


I am very happy to announce that Irene Oldfather and myself have been invited on to the NHS Education Scotland promoting exellence ( dementia ,care ,treatment & support ) programme board 
Over the last few months I have given 2 presentations and been invited to observe at one board meeting 
Last week Irene and I met with Scottish Government civil servants along with representatives from NHS Education Scotland and SSSC and where invited on to the programming board to represent dementia carer voices 
With great thanks to Sussane Forrest and fellow board members for this wonderful opportunity 
You can get more information on promoting exellence below 

 A warm welcome to our second guest contribution to the Dementia Carer Voices blog, providing an insight into the work being undertaken by our partners across the sector to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers.
This week, we are delighted to introduce Theresa Douglas, Dementia Project Lead and Leadership Consultant with NHS Education for Scotland, who has taken time out to tell us about the role of the ‘Promoting Excellence’ framework in supporting improvements in dementia care. 
Scotland’s second National Dementia Strategy was launched in June 2013. This 3 year strategy builds on the first 2010 strategy and contains 17 commitments to continue to drive forward improvements in the care and treatment for people with dementia, and their families and carers, across health and social services.
This includes a commitment to continue to improve staff skills and knowledge by working with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) to progress a comprehensive health and social services workforce development plan built on Promoting Excellence: A framework for health and care staff working with people with Dementia, their family and carers. You can access the framework and the related education and training resources by visiting http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/home/portals-and-topics/dementia-promoting-excellence.aspx 

The Promoting Excellence education framework;
  • details the knowledge and skills all health and social services staff should aspire to achieve in relation to the role they play in supporting people with a diagnosis of dementia, and their families, and carers.
  • is aspirational and future focussed – meaning it is not a just a description of what we do now – it is what we aspire to do in the future to support delivery of the aspirations and change actions outlined in Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy.
  • details the knowledge and skills that will inform new ways of working for all health and social services staff to ensure we enable people with dementia, and their families and carers, to maximise their rights, choices and health and wellbeing at all stages of their unique dementia journey.
Wherever you are working in health and care services, whatever your role, you need to know about Promoting Excellence and the level of knowledge and skills you need to have. There are arange of education and learning resources available to support your development and new ones being developed currently.
Another useful resource to support staff in health and care is the Dementia Managed Knowledge Network (MKN), offering access to up-to-date information, new resources and opportunities for discussion. Joining this network will enable you to become part of a growing community of people with an interest in sharing knowledge about improving care and support for people with dementia, their families and carers. Full details of how to join the network can be found by following this link.
This is a really interesting time to be part of a national workforce development and service improvement programme designed to build on the good practice and ways of working already established in some places and, where necessary, change the way staff go about their day to day work in order to ensure people who have dementia, their families and carers have the right support to achieve their personal outcomes.
Theresa DouglasProject Lead – Dementia, and Leadership Consultant with the National Leadership UnitNHS Education for Scotland


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Thank you Earlier Today speaking Occupational Therapy Team SouthAyrshire Council

with great thanks to Kerry Walker Occupational Therapy Team Leader South Ayrshire Council for the kind invite to speak to Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy assistants for the local authority based  at South Ayrshire Council Earlier today 

This was  part of my tour with NHSaaa  with great thanks to   Janice Mcallister Dementia Nurse consultant for coming along  to give support and advice 

A big thank you to Kerry Janice and to all who took time to attend and for the Make A difference Pledges

you can view the pledges on our Dementia Carer Voices Pledge page  

some photos from today's talk with Kerry Janice  and all the teams 



Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Alliance Network Event "The Role of Community Assets in Supporting Health and Wellbeing" August 20th

the ALLIANCE   latest Members’ Networking Event, on Wednesday 20 August (am) will focus on:

"The Role of Community Assets in Supporting Health and Wellbeing"

The event will explore the work of ALLIANCE and members’ programmes, operating in the community to nurture, develop and deliver community assets and support better connections between them and formal services. 

This event features input from:
You can find the agenda for the event here.  The event will be followed by a networking lunch from 12.45pm.

To register please email event@alliance-scotland.org.uk.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Monday, 4 August 2014

Dementia Carer voices August Newsletter is now out - you can view or sign up here

The latest Dementia Carer Voices Newsletter is now out!

snapshot newsletter

This month we celebrate the 1000th ‘You Can Make a Difference’ Pledge, the World’s First Dementia Friendly Parliament and some great guest contributions to our Dementia Carer Voices blog site, as well as a round-up of our recent and upcoming events.

If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter, please subscribe to our mailing list by sending us an email here.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Commonwealth Games -Getting to know Glasgow - Getting to know our life-stories - its all about people and relationships

My dad would always encourage me to look up when I was a boy, always saying “you are missing so many beautiful buildings and so much history looking at your feet when waking through town” and he was right.

Being born in and living in Glasgow, I am, like my dad, very proud of this wonderful city and people. We have had the Commonwealth Games here over the last weeks, and the atmosphere at the events and in around the city has been amazing.

Travelling around to do my talks by foot, by bus or by train, you can’t help but notice so many people from around the world not only here to attend events, but to truly get to know the history of Glasgow; where we have been, where we are and where we are going. Everywhere you look, there are people with maps, guide books, taking photos, learning about the story of Glasgow.

I was at a bus stop in town this morning, a bus stop I wait at most days, and from across the street I could see three people with Glasgow 2014 shirts on taking a photo of a small plaque on a building and discussing it intensely. I have been at this same bus stop so many times but never noticed or thought to read this plaque, and it made me think of the time taken to find about Glasgow, its life story, its history, by those people visiting for the common wealth games and not just what they see.

I think there are so many lessons to be learnt here. There are so many people coming to visit this city to attend the Commonwealth Games but this is only half of the story. They are learning so much about the people, the history, the buildings, the heartbeat of the games - Glasgow and the people from Glasgow.

It got me thinking about care – if people took more time to learn about the people we meet when needing support, advice or care; their life story, where they have been, where they are and where we can support them to go, then I think we can truly help people.

One of the things I try to promote on my tour is the “Getting to Know Me” initiative. This is all about getting to know the whole person, not just the patient and the illness, and is the driving motivation behind a new, nationally developed  resource to improve the experiences of vulnerable adults and their carers in acute hospital settings.

Judging by the smiles, the excitement and the conversations I have witnessed over the last week by so many people getting to know Glasgow, and the constant talk of legacy from major sporting events, getting to know all about everyone we care for would be a great legacy and I feel would help the smiles of so many over the last weeks continue for much longer on the faces of people we care for.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here! http://tommy-on-tour-2011.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/my-mums-name-was-joan-this-is-our-story.html

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 ...