Sunday, 21 May 2017

Great honour to be speaking sharing the caring event June 13th


With great thanks to Dr Helen Brown CEO Carers Trust Cambridgeshire for the kind invite to attend and speak 

Thank you for the kindness and opportunity 


Join us to celebrate carers at Sharing the Caring 2017

We promise you a bellyful of laughs and many heart-warming true stories about the lives of our fabulous carers at this year’s Sharing the Caring celebratory event where winners will be announced for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s Pride in Our Carers Awards.

Date: Tuesday 13 June

Time: from 9.45am – 4pm. Feel free to join us for as much of the event as you’d like

Venue: C3 Centre, Coldhams Lane, Cambridge, CB1 3HW

Cost: Free, but booking required

  • Sharing the Caring will focus on the carers’ voice, carers’ rights and what to do in an emergency.
  • Dementia Campaigner, Tommy Whitelaw, who travelled the world for the Spice Girls, Kylie and U2, will talk about becoming a full-time carer for his mum, Joan, for six years.
  • Marketplace stalls will provide a range of valuable information and activities, some interactive, for family carers, including Tai Chi and Mindfulness workshops, and the chance to join the Labrynth Singing for Health group.
  • Lunch
  • The afternoon rounds off with the eagerly anticipated announcement of the winners for the Pride in Our Carers Awards, honouring those who go the extra mile caring for family and friends, as well as carer friendly employers, voluntary organisations and social care professionals.
  •  Afternoon refreshments provided by local WI.

To book your place at the event go to  If you would like to attend any interactive workshops you must book these in advance.

Free transport is available from Peterborough.  To book transport from Peterborough, please call our Carer Helpline on 01480 499090 saying you would like to attend the event.

If you would like to find out more about either of the events please call 01480 499090 or email

Hope you can join us.

Please help spread the word by downloading the poster and displaying it in your local GP surgery, workplace, community centre, school, etc..
This is a joint event with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Would you like to share your views on issues such as living with dementia dementia, , unpaid caring

Would you like to share your views on issues such as dementia, mental health, unpaid caring ?

You can by writing a viewpoint for our Dementia Carer Voices blog.

Here are some pointers for pulling together a viewpoint blog.
You can also view other viewpoints below:
Get in touch with the team at:
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Dementia Carer Voices March/April 2017 Newsletter is now available to read or download

Dementia Carer Voices March/April 2017 Newsletter

Dementia Carer Voices launches Facebook Page
Dementia Carer Voices has launched its new Facebook page to engage more widely with people with dementia, their families and carers.
Please give us a like at:
Thank you to the 13,000 people!
The Dementia Carer Voices team would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has made a pledge as part of the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign. We are absolutely delighted to have received 13,000 pledges! This is an incredible milestone, and is only possible due to the commitment and compassion from everyone who has attended a talk or read about the campaign and made a promise to make a positive difference in the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
The team have been taking the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign to 550 talks to date, reaching over 75,000, staff and students throughout the UK to highlight that no matter what their role, everyone working in Health and Social Care Services has the potential to transform the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their carers, often in seemingly small ways.
Irene Oldfather, Director, the ALLIANCE said:
“This work reaches out and touches the hearts of many people, not least Health and Social Care students and professionals. These interactions are an ideal opportunity for staff to pause and reflect on what is really important to the people in their care. Make a pledge, make a difference.”
Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead, said: 
“Carers tell us that a little bit of time, listening and understanding can make an unimaginable difference during what can be a very difficult and lonely journey. The pledges that we have received have been truly inspiring, and we’re looking forward to working with people and seeing those pledges fulfilled.”
If you have been inspired to make a pledge , please get in touch and email us your pledge at
Dementia Carer Voices and Erskine teaming up once again!
Massive thanks to our great friend Derek Barron @dtbarron for the kind invite to speak and give 4 talks at Erskine Hospital @Erskine1916 on 21st and 27th April. Project Engagement Lead Tommy had the great honour to speak at Erskine a few months ago.
We are 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 NHSAA along with a short film.
We are looking forward to continue our work together with Derek over the coming years in his new role as Director of Care and linking up with our great friend Janice McAlister @janicemcalister again at the talks.
Erskine is Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans 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.
DCV Administrator, Laura McCulloch, attended the talks on the 21st at Erskine with Tommy, and William Griffiths, Policy and Information Intern, accompanied Tommy for the two on the 27th April.
Dementia Carer Voices attends the National Conference and Graduation for Dementia Champions
ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, and Policy and Information Intern, William Griffiths, attended the 7th cohort of Dementia Champions Graduation at Murrayfield Stadium on the 15th March. Through poster presentations and concurrent sessions, the event showcased and celebrated the work of Alzheimer’s Scotland Dementia Champions.
It was a good day with interesting posters and informative breakout sessions on informed consent, end of life care and more. Congratulations to all those who graduated as Dementia Champions on the day.
Remembering mums across the world on Mother’s Day
DCV marked Mother’s Day on the 26th March as an opportunity to reflect on motherly love and caring.
Happy Mother`s Day
The days we laughed
The days we cried
The days we shared the loss, the broken heart,
So it was less than half as hard.

The days we smiled,
The days we played ,
The days we danced,
The days we sang
Those were the best days
To remember forever.

The days we loved ……
the flowers, the sunshine, the rainbows, the waves, the birds,
the laughter and the tears of joy.

The memories ……
that can never be let go
That live in our hearts forever

But you – a part of me – and I of you –
so part of me died too.
But still you rescued me through the flowers, and the rainbows and the waves and the birds – for you loved the birds,
And the laughter and the tears of joy –
you wouldn’t let me go
to that too sad place.
And so the snowdrops and the birds and the words –
that was MY mum.
By Irene Oldfather
Caring for Mum
This month’s guest blog came from Alison Tait @Allisonrtait 
Allison is the Co-Chair at the Scottish Practice Nurse Association. Allison wrote her blog as a daughter.
Please read her full blog post here.
Allison with her mum Betty.
Dementia Carer Voices featured in the Danish Parliament 
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw’s talks were the subject of discussion at the Danish Parliament on the 17th March when the organisation Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief held their ‘It Takes a Village’ exhibition in Copenhagen.
Denmark has been keen to learn the experiences from Scottish end of life care, and it was a great honour for Dementia Carer Voices to be one of their learning resources.
Hatton Lea Care Home Launch Pledge Initiative
Thank you to Caroline York, June Sugden and all at Hatton Lea Care Home for inviting Tommy to speak at the launch of their pledge tree on 13 April 2017.
Caroline and some colleagues heard Tommy speak at a Dementia Ambassadors Conference back in December 2016 and got in touch for us to give a talk at Hatton Lea Care launch of the pledge initiative.
You can read more from the care home press release in the Motherwell Times.
Caroline York, unit manager at the home, added:
“Tommy’s commitment to the pledge tree concept is extremely inspirational”.
Thank you all for a wonderful day the great kindness and inspirational pledges and tree
See our latest pledge posts from talks at Glasgow University, Poole Hospital and many more.
Future DCV events
Keep up-to-date with events DCV are attending over the next month. To find out more, see our “Get Involved” page over on our blog.
Dementia Carer Voices to show poster at Alzheimer’s Scotland and NHS Scotland Conferences
Dementia Carer Voices will present our poster explaining our project at the upcoming Alzheimer’s Scotland conference on the 2nd June and the NHS Scotland conference on the 20th – 21st June. If you’re attending either of those conferences, please do keep an eye out for our stand and have a chat with members of the team.
ALLIANCE Conference – Change: The Health and Social Care Integration event
Join the ALLIANCE, our members and partners at our 2017 annual conference on the 30th May. It will be focused on integration and change. What kind of change is needed? Where are the examples of change happening for the good? Is it happening fast enough in health and social care? What are the factors that drive the kind of change that makes a positive difference to people’s lives? How can we influence change?
The event will focus on putting people firmly at the centre of decision making and will cover broad areas that affect people’s lives. The programme and venue will be designed around different zones reflecting many of the key issues that most affect the lives of people who live with long term conditions, disabled people and unpaid carers.
Have a look at our conference agenda. Download your booking form here or call 0141 404 0231 to get support to fill in your form.

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

The Health and social Care Academy Creative Competition 2017 is now open!

The Creative Competition 2017 is now open! 

We are pleased to announce the launch of our third annual Creative Competition in partnership with Scottish Recovery Network, Write to Recovery, Reachout with Arts in Mind and Mind Waves.
This year is centred around the theme of Change. 
We would like you to think about:
·         What you think needs to change in Scotland to keep us living well?
·         What you do to stay healthy and well?
·         What one thing you would change where you live to keep you well?
You can share your ideas, thoughts, vision and experiences by entering into the categories:
·         Poetry
·         Short Story
·         Photography
·         Film
·         Arts and Crafts
The closing date is Wednesday 19th July 2017. Winning entries in each category will receive a prize and have their work showcased.
New this year is the chance to develop and submit any written entries using SRN’s popular online story-sharing tool Write to Recovery (
For further information contact
For more info contact 

Rhona Millar
Events, Communications and Academy Co-ordinator  
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
349 Bath Street
Glasgow G2 4AA
Tel: 0141 404 0231
Charity No. SC 037475 
Company No. 307731

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
DCV photo DementiaCarerRGBlandscape3_zpsa2f3d5ff.jpg

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What matters to you? day is being held on 6 June 2017, Save thedate #wmty17

‘What matters to you? day is being held on 6 June 2017, please save the date and plan now for how you might join in on the day.
The aim this year is not only to encourage and support more meaningful conversations, but also to focus on the action that needs to happen in response to these conversations to deliver the care and support people really need and want.
Dementia Carer Voices, Tommy Whitelaw, represents @ALLIANCEScot on the “What matters to you” steering group and has been working with carers and people with long term conditions to find out what matters to them.  Take a look at our “What matters to you” case studies and podcasts.
image1We know from experience and evidence that the effect of focusing on what really matters to people can lead to improvements in the quality and effectiveness of what we do.  Having a better understanding of what is important to people also helps develop relationships that provide the support and help people need to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.
Last year,  ‘What matters to you?’ day had more than 520 health and social care teams across Scotland making a special effort to have more person-centred conversations with the people they work with. In addition to this, more than 100 teams from 13 countries joined our Scottish initiative. You can read more about it in our ‘What matters to you?’ day 2016 report at: or Facebook  

‘What matters to you?’ day is being supported by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, the Minister for Public Health and Sport and the Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing. They will be getting involved on the day as well as sharing messages of encouragement and good practice in the run-up to 6 June.
The Scottish Government and Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s person-centred health and care team will also be supporting health and social care organisations practically to participate in the day by providing advice and resources through the website at
To ask questions or find out more, please contact the person-centred health and care team at

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 ...