Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The ALLIANCE interactive Annual Report is available to read or download here

I am pleased to send you our recently launched interactive Annual Report for 2016, which highlights some of the organisation’s key activities over the course of what was our tenth anniversary year.
If you would like to receive a hard copy of the report, please contact us via or call 0141 404 0231.

During 2017, the ALLIANCE will continue to work in strategic partnership with our members, the Scottish Government and others to ensure a strong voice for disabled people, people living with long term conditions, unpaid carers and the third sector.

Finally, please also find updated information on our meeting room and hot desk facilities.
With best wishes for the year ahead.

Ian Welsh OBE
Chief Executive 

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Friday, 6 January 2017

Can you Help ,share your story - lets make a difference one love story at a time

This campaign is built on life stories, my wee mums life story was a love story.  She loved and cared for everyone, for her husband, my hero - my dad and for her children.  My Mums amazing kindness and ability to care for everyone was inspiring as everyone deserves the right to keep their life closer to a love story and as far away from tragedy as possible.

Society has its part to play I loved my mum but we spent too much time lonely isolated and the lack of understanding towards us challenged the love story all too often.  We can’t at this time cure Dementia but we can cure so many of the challenges that are allowed to play such big parts in our lives.  Loneliness, isolation, understanding and awareness we can help change them.

We have to celebrate the greatness in people the lives they led and should be allowed to lead. I believe to help someone we need to know them, we need to keep their love story on track and learn about them if we use Dementia and their diagnosis as the starting point then we fail people.

My mum Joan Whitelaw was too often viewed as a wee woman with Dementia and I as her son and carer too often felt ignored and I want to help change that.

So I collect life stories to take to all who need to read them, to show the lives people lead and the impact society is allowing Dementia to have and the part we can play.

Love story or tragedy what part will you play?

You can help by sending your story, thoughts or opinions to  and my promise is the same as my promise to mum to take them to all I think should and need to read them,

 hopefully changing attitudes, raising awareness and understanding one love story at a time.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Monday Speaking Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences University of Strathclyde


With great thanks to Anne  Boyter Director of teaching  Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences University of Strathclyde, for kindly inviting my friend and Colleague Graeme Morrison
@ALLIANCEGraeme  Prescription for Excellence -Inclusion Officer and myself to speak to 120 3rd year Pharmacy students on Monday January 9th 

We are both so very honoured and looking forward to meeting everyone and speaking together.

look our over the next few weeks for a blog post about the day. 


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Great Honour Speaking Erskine Hospital January 2017

With Great thanks to our great friend Derek Barron @Derek Barron for the kind invite to speak ( 2 talks at Erskine Hospital January 2017  Erskine is Scotland's foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses
We are so very honoured to be invited and continue our great relationship with Derek.We Launched our first pledge talks and trees with Derek back in 2015 at Nhsaaa  along with a short film
we are looking forward to continue our work together with derek over the nexrs years in this new role as Director of care and linking up with our great friend Janice Mcalister @janicemcalister   again at the talks and Dr Claire Copeland 
 you can view more info about Erskine and the day below  
Erskine is Scotland's foremost provider of care forveterans and their spouses, Erskine provides unrivalled nursing, residential, respite and dementia care within four homes across Scotland.

An important aspect of ensuring the care we provide is of the highest standard is to ensure our staff have the training, skills and knowledge to support them in delivering compassionate, person and relationship based care.  

On 17th January we will be holding two training sessions for our staff, focused on delirium and dementia.  The event will take a four pronged approach, each neatly dovetailing together to provide a rounded view of delirium and dementia. 

Clinical: Dr Claire Copeland (consultant physician) will provide a clinical perspective of the signs and symptoms of delirium, the need for urgent identification and intervention, Janice McAlister (Alzheimer Scotland Nurse Consultant) will provide a similar input focused on dementia. 
Physical activity: Janet Leith (Physiotherapist -Erskine) will provide an overview perspective if the impact of delirium on physical activity. 

Relative: We will have two different Erskine relatives speaking (one morning, one afternoon) and National Carer lessons: Tommy giving a personal but national dementia carers perspective.

The learning outcome for our staff will be increased clinical knowledge to enable to them to better recognise and treat delirium, and a great understanding of their personal impact on the lives of those with whom we share care.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Thank you for the Kindness 2016 - Here are a few Moments from the last Year


As 2016 comes to a close we thought we’d share some updates and highlights from the last year below 
My wee blog that started when caring for my kind mum Joan, our films,  produced  to share our story has  now reached 1 Million reads, film views and meeting people in person at talks on the tour.

I want to thank everyone from my heart who has taken the time to read, share, attend a talk, send a letter or comment for the great kindness and support.

This kindness and support played such a big part in  helping  my mum living with dementia and myself as a son and carer and has continued to do so till this day as project engagement lead at dementia carer voices

Thank you to everyone for your commitment and inspirational words over the last year, pledging to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia, their carers, and families  

You Can Make a Difference Campaign
Dementia Carer Voices reached a new milestone of 12,000 pledges as part of its mission to give Health and Social Care Professionals and students nationwide a fuller understanding of what it means to be a carer of someone with dementia.
The campaign offers carers of people with dementia a chance to have their stories told to professional and students. The pledges encourage them to reflect on what they have learnt and pledge how they can make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
Hospitals, Care Homes, Universities, and Colleges have created pledge trees to help support colleagues to fulfil their pledge, and to allow values based reflective practice. It aims to empower individuals to make a positive difference often by making a simple change,
 “I pledge to always see the person and not the dementia, and to always show compassion and care to others”
Since February 2014, the campaign has engaged with an estimated 70,000 people over the course of 500 talks.12,000 pledges  have been collected from different audiences all over the country and have encouraged not only health and social care professionals, but politicians and members of the public to take part by pledging their support to the campaign.

                                             Launching a Friendly Community Pledge
In partnership with Glasgow Clyde College and Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands, Dementia Carer Voices launched a community pledge in Pollok, giving constituents the chance to reach out to their neighbours and help reduce isolation and loneliness.
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw is a life-long constituent of Pollok, where he was born and later returned to care for his late mum Joan. From the success of our You Can Make a Difference campaign, the team wanted to extend the invitation to the community to make a pledge to the whole community of Pollok, not just to people living with dementia and their carers, but to their neighbours and wider community.
Chaired by Director Irene Oldfather, the event celebrated pledges made by students at the Glasgow Clyde College, introduced participants to their local link worker, and the community assets currently mapped on ALISS.

                 Journal gives platform to carers of people with dementia
A joint article has been published between the ALLIANCE and the University of Glasgow, based on the letters Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw collected from carers across Scotland. These letters have been analysed by Jane Joy and Diane Willis from the University of Glasgow, with the results of their study now available:
Examining Dementia Caregivers’ ExperiencesThe International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.59-72, November 10, 2016. By Jane Joy, Thomas James Whitelaw, Irene Oldfather and Diane Willis.
Director Irene Oldfather and Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw have appeared on a number of broadcasts to promote rights and the carer voice, including
  • BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour
  • Community Chanel
  • STV Glasgow
  • BBC Radio Scotland with Kaye Adams
  • BBC Scotland 6 o’clock news
  • BBC Radio Scotland with John Beattie
  • BBC Radio 4: Four Thought
Our selection of films has also been used as part of training in Universities across Scotland, and various health boards and social work services, helping to promote culture change within health and social  care       

Kate Granger
It was an honour for the team when Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw was nominated as a finalist in the Individual category of the Kate Granger Awards 2016. Now in their third year, the awards were set up by Kate Granger, a doctor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis social media campaign. There were more than 130 nominations for this year’s awards, and we’d like to thank Joan, a transformation nurse, for taking the time to nominate Project Engagement Lead Tommy.
Local Hero
Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, nominated Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw, lifelong resident of Pollok for a Local Hero award.
Speaking about the nomination, Humza Yousaf, MSP said ‘Tommy has worked relentlessly in highlighting the issue of dementia and in trying to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers.’ 
 Master of the University for Health, Social Care, Education and Policy making influence.
In October, Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw received his honorary masters from the Open University. The Open University has developed several modules which help students to understand and respond sympathetically and appropriately to the issues which dementia presents. They have benefited tremendously from Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw’s insights, and he has used videos and lectures to open students’ eyes to the experience of caring for someone with dementia.
Launching of NHS England Framework

NHS England’s new national framework, Leading Change, Adding Value was launched on the 18th May, having been co-developed with a wide range of national organisations, practitioners, people with long term conditions, carers and the public. Dementia Carer Voices helped influence this framework so it was a huge honour for Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw to introduce Professor Jane Cummings, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, at the launch of the framework. The Launch was streamed live around the country and as far as Australia, New Zealand and America.

Over the last year Dementia Carer Voices has attended several conferences which have helped promote our activities and the ALLIANCE’s work, as well as a chance to participate in shared learning, and extend our network.

RCN Conference

Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw was invited alongside Nicola Sturgeon, to give one of the Keynote speeches at the RCN Congress 2016 which was held at the SECC.  The event was live streamed all over the world, and it was fitting that the keynote speech followed the RCN’s debate on dementia where Congress adopted the resolution ‘to lobby for better policy, to ensure a fair deal for dementia patients and carers when admitted to acute care.’
Dementia Scotland 2016
The Dementia Scotland 2016 Conference focused on the progress of Scotland’s ongoing National Dementia Strategy, whilst also examining the aspirations of the new 2016-2019 strategy. Director Irene Oldfather presented at the morning plenary session about a human rights based approach to Dementia Care, discussing the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers, and how to embed and implement a rights based approach.

Carer Engagement
Dementia Carer Voices endeavours to engage with carers through mixed medium content and approaches in order to ensure the voices of carers are captured, and crucially are used to inform policy and practice.
The project has begun expanding our collection of case studies with podcasts and short video clips in which we speak to people with dementia, carers, and health and social care staff, about their experiences. See our podcasts and case studies here.

Staff Induction Film In Partnership with HealthWatch Essex and  Broomfields Hospital 

Four Thought

Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw was invited to take part in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 4: Four Thought programme.

“If we really are going to make a difference to each other we have to change the conversation from ‘what’s the matter with you’ to ‘what matters to you'”.

Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw

The programme was recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House, presented by Mike Williams and produced by Sheila Cook. Listen to a repeat of the programme here.

Thank you to everyone, have a happy Christmas and happy new year!

Posted in Events

Read our final newsletter of 2016!

Remember support is available over the Christmas season, don’t be afraid to seek it.
 Find Further information on how to access help  on our website

and you can call the Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 hour helpline 
for free on 0808 808 3000.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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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 ...