Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thank you Nurse Rosalyn Hargreaves for making a difference ,the talk ,the pledges #inspiring



We are privileged to share this truly inspiring example of the power of one individual and the difference they can make. Tommy, Irene, Sarah and Laura would like to say a massive thank you to Roz, who embodies what Make a Difference is all about.

Roz was at a Make a Difference talk, and decided to share what she had heard with 450 students and asked all of them to make a pledge to make a difference in the lives of people with dementia and their carers. The response was overwhelming, and we would like to say from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Here are some words from Roz, who tells us about the event from her perspective and how Tommy`s story and those who have written to him shaped the session, and inspired her to make a difference.


Dementia Friends/We can make a difference session

On Wednesday 10th September I stood in front of around 450 students for an hour, who started on their nursing career. I was nervous standing there with all these faces looking at me.

I opened the session asking them in one word what they knew about dementia. Words that came out was confusion, frightened, alone, sad, lost etc. These describe how someone living with dementia feels on a day to day basis.

I showed the students (I want to put newbies) a video around the bookcase analogy, to help them understand about dementia how a person can forget about an event but the feelings can still be lasting.

During the session I had a few of them standing in front of the rest of the cohort, I gave them a piece of paper with who they are. I then read out statements where they had to decide if they could complete a task or make a decision. At the end of this I then revealed that they were all the same person.

We can make a difference

I talked to the group about how it is for the people caring for their relatives living with dementia, how they feel, I showed two videos of Tommy Whitelaw on how it had been for him, from the point of diagnosis to getting the support that both his mum and he required. The other video was the one Tommy showed up in Middlesbrough the previous week. Though this video was showing the scale on how many people in Scotland are living with dementia, I wanted to give an indication of how big dementia is nowadays, to how it was years ago in the 80’s when my own nanna had dementia. On behalf of Tommy I asked the students to get a piece of paper and write down a pledge that they would do to support a person with dementia and their carers, and pin it on the board provided, place it in front if there was no room. At the end of the session I received good feedback regarding the session on how much they enjoyed it and now have a greater understanding of dementia than they did before.

Once all the students left, I was overwhelmed by how many students had left a pledge, and on reading some of their pledges, I feel happy and honoured to have included Tommy’s Story into my Dementia Friends session.

Thank you Tommy for allowing me to share your story.

Rosalyn Hargreaves

Qualified Nurse

You can read the inspiring 266 pledges here

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