Monday, 18 February 2019

It Started with a Song ( Concert for Caring )

It started with a song, it ends with a song

Growing up like most in Glasgow, New Year’s parties at home ended with songs. I used to watch and listen to my dad sing songs from Perry Como, to Frank Sinatra, to Roberta Flack. And anytime he sung a love song, no matter how crowded a room, his eyes fixed solely to my mum with a love for each other I’m so glad I witnessed. Parties when I was young always finished with a song.
Many years later I worked in music, travelling the world for over 25 years with many different artists and bands. That’s where I first met Mark from Regular Music and HIPSWAY, who will be arranging and playing at our Concert for Caring on April 6th. My working days and nights both started and finished with songs.
After 25 years touring, I returned to Glasgow for a short break at first for myself, then unexpectedly and unprepared to care for my late mum Joan who lived the last years of her life with dementia.
During our darkest days over those nearly six years, when my mum was often scared and I felt quite hopeless and we felt alone, by accident and wishing my dad was here to help us, I sang to my mum one morning, a Perry Como song ‘For the Good Times’. My mum’s eyes lit up and I knew, I knew in my heart mum was remembering my dad and suddenly we both felt less alone, less scared and I felt less hopeless. And every time from then on when either of us was scared I would sing one of those songs.
Since my mum’s passing, as part of my role as UK Project Lead at the ALLIANCE I’ve been on a tour across the UK giving more than 850 talks to approximately 170,000 people. 22,500 people have pledged to make a difference, celebrating people, champions, who dedicate their lives to care for others. Every talk on that tour has ended with a song.
This tour ends on the last day of March 2019 and part of our ALLIANCE Concert for Caring is to celebrate the people we have met along with the songs.
On April 6th 2019 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, I suppose in many ways it all started with a song and it will end with a song.
Come and join us and sing for love, kindness, care and celebrate people in song. Let’s end the evening together in song.

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

Friday, 1 February 2019

Celebrating 20,000 Peolpe ,Place and pedges Making a difference

We are so very honoured to announce that more than 20,000 individuals, hospitals, universities, colleges, care homes and hospices have now added personal pledges to our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign. This is a wonderful milestone to reach and would not be possible without the commitment and passion of everyone who attends our talks, reads about our campaign and pledges to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers. We have reached over 150,000 people across more than 750 talks and have met so many remarkable people so far.
These 20,000 pledges are from a personal perspective so each of them is unique and from the heart. 20,000 people have stopped and reflected on what they can do in their lives to make a difference. And no matter what your role, everyone has the potential to transform the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their carers, often in seemingly small ways.
I’d like to thank my teammates Irene, Laura and Matthew and all of the amazing people we have met on our You Can Make a Difference tour.
We are constantly inspired by the remarkable people that we meet, the knowledge, skill, dedication and care we witness and the incredible ways people turn pledges into actions. Thank you to each and every one of you.
We are really proud to be able to work with the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland Professor Fiona McQueen (this link will take you away from our website), and the Chief Nursing Officer for England Professor Jane Cummings (this link will take you away from our website), sharing key messages from both and feeding back on the aims and outcomes of the people we have met.
You can read all of the pledges we have received so far on our website, as well as our pledge case studies, most recent publication and 5 Steps to Change resource.
The campaign will continue throughout the year. If you have been inspired to make a pledge yourself, you can email us at
We’d love to hear how you plan to make a difference!

We have published a press release for this landmark here on the Dementia Carer Voices website.
Master Pledge Page

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

24/07/18 Northumbria University Nursing Leavers Conference

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

06/02/18 Craigielea, People, Pledges, Music, Wishes and Life Stories

16/02/18 Portsmouth Hospitals Launch Pledge Tree

20/02/18 Queen Margaret University, Nursing Students Add Pledges

21/02/18 Abertay University open sessions

28/02/18 The Midlands and East Region LCAV Conference Delegates Add Pledges


January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

03/11/17 Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust 
06/11/17 Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnerships
07/11/17 New College Lanarkshire
08/11/17 Care at home teams Livingston 

October 2017

04/10/17 City of Glasgow College Pledge to Make a Difference
25/10/17  NhHS Borders District Nursing 
26/18/17 Stirling University 3rd Year Nursing

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

15/16.12.14 Norfolk and Suffolk

November 2014

03.11.14 Online pledges
07.11.14 Burton Hospital
13.11.14  Pledges of the week
24.11.14 The Retreat York

October 2014

13.10.14 More Pledges
27-30.10.14 NHS Highland Tour

September 2014

01.09.14  Teesside University

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

3/4.06.14 NHS Conference
27.06.14 BCDA Birmingham

May 2014 

April 2014

(08 -10).04.14 NHS Dumfries & Galloway 

March 2014

February 2014

19.02.14 NHS Fife

January 2014

We began the campaign by asking “What does caring mean to you?”

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

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 ...