Are you a carer?

Please watch my short film, which includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent me.

If you would like to share your story or make a persoanl pledge to make a difference please email

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Honored speaking dementia ambassadors event Arbroath - 7th November,

With great thanks to Yvonne Manson @YvonneSManson  Dementia development lead Balhousie Care Group for the kind invite to attend the next dementia ambassador event to meet with the ambassadors,learn about the great work that they do and give a talk on our make a difference campaign 

Really looking forward to meeting everyone Monkbarns care home Arbroath - 7th November, 


Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Saturday, 22 October 2016

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 listening, kindness and understanding made to his journey as a carer, and the importance of looking beyond a person’s diagnosis to engage with them as an individual.

If you would like to access further information about the Collaborative and to view presentations from the latest learning session, please click here.

In 2011 Tommy produced a short film in conjunction with Alzheimer Scotland. The video, which was later shown at the Scottish Parliament, includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent him during his dementia awareness tour of Scotland’s towns and cities. To view the FILM

 Putting the Care into Dementia Care

This training film is a collaboration between Health watch Essex, staff at Broomfield Hospital and Dementia Carer Voices

Interview for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

 Patients’ Stories Library

The NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's Patients' Stories Library for Hospital Staff aims to use patients’ and carers’ experiences to look at how acute services can be improved.
Tommy shared his story with frontline staff working across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, including the Ward staff that cared for his mother at the Southern General hospital. His film interview was also shown across a number of NHSGGC hospital sites during Carers Week 2013 to help raise awareness amongst staff about the importance of supporting carers in contributing to delivering person centred care.

Dementia Carer Voices where proud to tour with Healthwatch across Essex back in October 2015.  You can view the blog post and pledges from the few days here. 
Thanks to every one of you who attended each event and the @HWEssex team for arranging the few days.  Below is a new film about the tour with some of the Nurses who attended sharing their pledges made to the Make a Difference Campaign each day. 

 It’s Ok to Ask for Help!

The It’s Ok to Ask DVD produced by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Glasgow City Council, The Alliance and Alzheimer Scotland uses carers’ experiences to highlight the benefits of using carer support services in Glasgow, and encourages people to ask for help. Tommy Whitelaw, Alliance Scotland, shares experiences of looking after a partner, parent, relative, friend or neighbour with dementia. Other carers tell us about help they get from support services in Glasgow. FILM

'On the Couch' with Tommy Whitelaw filmed interview NHS Scotland Conference June 2015

Speaking Care Inspectorate Seminar 

Published on 7 Nov 2013
Tommy recently spoke to our inspection team to talk about his experiences of caring for his mum Joan Whitelaw, who died last year after living with dementia for several years. He spoke about the difficulties he had getting the right services for his mum at the right time and how this led him to take his dementia awareness campaign "On Tour"

National Dementia Awareness Week 2014 (England) – NHS Employers Nursing Times - my Filmed interview

To mark National Dementia Awareness Week which runs from 18 to 24 May, NHS Employers the Nursing Times are working with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote resources available to NHS organisations and the NHS workforce.
As part of this activity, they have specially commissioned a short video of an interview with Dementia Carer Voices’ very own Tommy Whitelaw.

You can get more information here on NHS Employers 
This video was made to mark this year’s Dementia Awareness week 

You can click on the image Below to preview the  trailer for a longer film which will be launched on 12th December in NHS Ayrshire and Arran University Hospital Ayr lecture theatre.
make a difference film

Full version of Make a difference with the staff nhsaaa 
Nicola Film Still 2

Friday, 21 October 2016

Developing a 2030 Vision for Nursing- Have your say


A project is underway to develop a 2030 Vision for Nursing and we are looking for your input. If you are a nurse, student nurse, or represent nurses, we want to hear from you.
The goal is to produce a vision for maximising the nursing contribution to health and well-being. It will set out what nursing needs to look like by 2030 and capture the things we do well, along with the things that need to change and be done differently.

You can contribute by completing the 2030 Nursing Vision Survey, or by participating in a local engagement conversation. Health Boards, Universities and nursing stakeholders are hosting local conversations so that you can have your say and influence the 2030 Vision for Nursing.
The engagement phase, including the online survey, will run until 9th December.
The survey and local conversations focus on 5 themes:
  1. Modernising public perceptions of nursing
  2. Staff experience
  3. Preparing nurses for future needs and roles
  4. Working in health and social care teams
  5. Nursing practice and health promotion/public health
NMC review
This work is being carried out in the context of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Review of Standards for Education. Much of what is said on the future of nursing in Scotland will feed into the NMC review.
What will happen next?
The engagement feedback will be analysed to identify the key messages. The Chief Nursing Officer intends to publish the 2030 Nursing Vision in summer 2017.
Thank you
Thank you for your help and support with this important work.

HAVE your say HERE 
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Thursday, 20 October 2016

A great Honour to be returning Musgrove Park Hospital for 4 talks and a catch up on the pledges


A big Thank you to Hayley Peters, Executive Director of Patient Care,  Andrea Bohun, Dementia & Frailty Projects Support Officer and The Dementia Teamand AND Phil Shelley, Hotel Services Manager.for the kind invite back to visit for 4 talks and to meet staff who made pledges earlier this year 

i am really  looking forward to returning and hearing all about how pledges have been turned in to practice and to meet more of the teams at the 4 talks 

you can read about the visit earlier this year below

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Tuesday 19th January 2016 saw Tommy having the great honor to speak to staff at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Somerset.
Thank you to Hayley Peters, Executive Director of Patient Care and Phil Shelley, Hotel Services Manager.  This invite came after Tommy met Phil when speaking at the Hospital Caterers Association Forum earlier in 2015.
Massive thanks to Andrea Bohun, Dementia & Frailty Projects Support Officer and The Dementia Team at Musgrove Park Hospital for arranging the inspiring day.
Tommy spoke about his experiences as a carer for his mother, the campaign and inspired everyone to make a pledge to make a difference to their patients living with dementia.
Photo 5
Left to right: Andrea Bohun, Dementia Project Support Officer;  Sam Barrell, Chief Executive, Hayley Peters, Director of Patient Care; Karen Holden, Dementia & Frailty Projects Lead and Tommy Whitlaw, Project Engagement Lead for Dementia Carer Voices.
Musgrove Park Hospital were so inspired by Tommy`s story and the work of the project that they have put up pledge tress around the hospital as a reminder that they can make a difference to the lives of the people they care for and also showing the great work they do.
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Below is pledges we received on our pledge cards from the day.  Grab a cup of tea and have a read!
I pledge to carry on thinking of others and to find empathy think about what they must be feeling – Amanda Hall
I pledge to support, hold hands, wipe away tears; learn about the person and their families. Never let/allow anyone to think they are alone.  Do what I can to make life easy and never let you down.  Always be there – Amanda Scott
I pledge to take the time to recognise when people need to be given more time, support, love & kindness – Amy Stanley
I pledge not to expect carers and patients to accept and have to navigate through the failings in the healthcare system which I will try to help change/improve.
I pledge to ensure the people I care for can preserve their identity for as long as possible and that each and every person I care for gets the empathy and kindness I would want for my family.
I pledge to ask how I can help.
I pledge to gain more knowledge and understanding on people’s backgrounds and life stories – Callum jones
I pledge to continue to listen and to speak to our patients as human beings and an individual not just as a number or just another patients – Charmaine Griffiths
I pledge to always listen to the person and remember who they really are; not just an illness – Charmaine stone
I pledge to walk with you, smile with you, listen and always care – Chloe Sandercock
I pledge to hold the hand of those with dementia and those who care – Christine brewer
I pledge to make a difference in someone’s life, being the right person at the right moment and offer my support and compassion in their healing pathway – Cristina Mateescu
I pledge to look into your eyes and see the person you were. Try and take away the feeling of being scared; allow you to smile again and see your husband, wife, son, and daughter smile with you – Debbie sage
I pledge to never to lose sight, to take time with each patient and learn their story and to REALLY make a difference – Emma Wilreid
I pledge to remember the importance of not only the needs of the patient with dementia, but also their carers –Giuseppe Porfido
I pledge to listen to patient’s needs. Take care about then and ask about their family – to do what is in the best interest for them all – Irene Romiti
I pledge to take time to listen and understand the “person”.
I pledge to listen and ask what matters to you – Jessica Hands
I pledge to always listen to anybody that wants to talk to me and care about what they say – Jodie Perrin
I pledge to gain knowledge on how I could help to support friends or family with regards to dementia – John Simon
I pledge to listen, education, improve – Jon Smith
My pledge is to listen and share the stories I hear about through my work that help people understand more about dementia and being a carer – Jonathan Yelland
I pledge to listen – but not just to listen but to hear – Julie Salisbury
I pledge to give support and empathy to carers. Provide information and refer on to other services when needed.
I pledge to listen, make more time. Don’t forget that the patient is a person – Katy Ratcliffe
I pledge to go the extra mild with every patient I meet or speak to on the phone; everyone is entitled to a voice – I think it’s so important we listen to it – Kelly Fearn
I pledge to listen and find out about the individuals I care for and their families and carers – Kirsti Adams
I pledge to complete my nursing degree and fulfil the promise I made to my late Nan who had dementia, which was to care and be kind to everyone I meet – Laura Selwood
I pledge to play my role here at MPH in making the best environment for patients and their carers and families affected by dementia – Lisa Harty
I pledge to treat everyone as an individual and not a number. Listen to what people need and not what I think they need – Lisa Moore
I pledge to always ask the questions that will let me understand who you are and how I can help and respect you – Lisbeth Dean
I pledge to be aware of people who are a carer or are affected by dementia and try to help them in any way.
I pledge to love, honour and treat people with kindness and compassion in the same way I would for the people I love – Luan Kmita
I pledge to care for all in work and out of work.
I pledge to make a difference by pursuing a holistic approach in nursing, seeing a person and not a disease or a medical condition – Mbemba Jawneh
I pledge to take time to listen to each and every one of my patient’s stories, even when it feels like there is no spare time in the day – Mel pinner
I pledge to make a difference when and where possible –Mike Ware
My pledge is to continue to support people affected by dementia – Nicole Flatts
My pledge is to always remember how scared our patients and carers are when they come into hospital. Inspire others to be the same, new staff, and be a good role model – Pippa Richards
I pledge to take more time and to listen to my family and be more understanding.
I pledge to treat those around me with kindness and respect. Take the time to listen to people’s stories. Make a difference in any way I can – Rachel vile
I pledge to always ask about them as a person; past experiences, happy and sad moments, family and hobbies – Rebecca Thomas
I pledge to pursue an attitude that reflects the understanding that the way I communicate and behave towards those affected by dementia really does make a difference to their lives – Samuel Ricca
I pledge to do the best I can for every patient I meet. Remembering key elements; dignity and respect.  To sympathise where there is fear.
I pledge at work to get the “This is Me” document completed. At home visit my ex-neighbour with dementia more often – Staff Nurse Bedley
I pledge to find out more about the stories of the people I meet – Steven power
I pledge to take the time to get to know the person that I see on the ward – Sue Chattell
I pledge to always make sure that I can do everything possible to ensure everyone under my care feels safe –Tom Nunn
I pledge to encourage person centred conversations – discovering what matters and who matters in a kind and understanding way – Viv Henderson
I pledge to always be kind, human and have an understanding ear and always think about how my patients feels – Wendy Male

Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I Million reads of my blog, films, Letters and tour – Thank you from my heart


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

When I first started caring for mum, I thought my mum was the only person living with dementia and I was the only carer. I was soon to find out how far from true that this  was

The blog and subsequent talks and tour enlightened our lives and introduced us to so many inspiring, caring and kind people and for that I shall be eternally grateful

Someone asked me a few months back,

what did I learn caring for my mum living with dementia?

The answer is a lesson my mum tried to teach me all my life, that people are kind and caring and if you take time to listen this will become clear. I wish I would have listened much sooner in life,but I suppose my mum was still helping right through to the last day

Thank you from my heart for reading my blog, for watching the films, for coming to  the talks, for the letters, lessons and kindness along the way

People are amazing and I am glad to have met so many along the way

Thank you for caring 

Thank you  for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!

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NEW Updated Case Studies -October 2016

                   You Can Make a Difference

Dementia Carer Voices began its flagship ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign in February of last year, which has gone from strength to strength. The campaign calls upon health and social care professionals to reflect on the lived experience of people affected by dementia, and identify key messages or actions from their stories that they can take away and apply to their everyday practice to improve outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers.
The campaign has had an extensive outreach programme, engaging with an estimated 52,000 people over the course of 480 talks since February 2014. As the campaign continues this year, this total is set to increase throughout 2015.
This campaign, primarily targeted at health and social care professionals and students, has travelled across the country with the simple message that we can all make a difference, no matter what our role. The highly translatable nature of the campaign has encouraged people from all backgrounds to participate, and has meant that along with professionals and students, MSPs and members of the public have readily pledged their support not just to the project but to the estimated 788,000 unpaid carers in Scotland.
The campaign seeks to empower individuals to make a positive difference in the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers. It aims to encourage people to do what they can to make their journeys easier, often in simple ways. Perhaps the most common pledge is “I pledge to see the person and not the dementia.” This is an invaluable shift towards a more person centred culture, which puts the focus back on the person at all times, recognising them as experts in their own lives and shifting the balance of power towards individuals.
Make a Difference: Inspiration and Pledges
Parliament Poster 4The campaign has undertaken an unprecedented level of outreach work, through giving 480 talks, delivering several workshops, distributing information and guidance, having information stands and hosting an exhibition at the Scottish Parliament.
The awareness talks involve Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw sharing his experiences in caring for his late mother, Joan, along with the experiences of carers who have shared their stories with the project in the hopes of improving the experiences of people living with dementia, their families and carers. The campaign provides people with the opportunity to reflect on these personal stories and make their own pledge to make a difference.
To date, the campaign has gathered over 11,000 pledges to make a difference. The pledges are inspired by the Make a Difference campaign, and are collected in a variety of means. This includes in person at awareness talks, at events such as conferences, via email and online through the blog site and twitter account. Throughout the journey of the campaign, the project team have been keen to learn about what works, and what changes if any are needed for the pledges to be fulfilled. As a result, the team have recommended that the hosting organisation for a talk should keep the pledges and work alongside their colleagues to make a difference. This has been done in a variety of ways by different partners, some of which are outlined below.
Make a Difference Lessons: Embedding the Campaign
There have been a variety of ways in which the You Can Make a Difference campaign has been taken forward by people to encourage others to make a difference in the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers. These have been health boards, organisations and individuals who have committed to listening to and sharing the experiences of carers to influence how they interact with people in their own lives, be it in their personal or professional life. Some of these are detailed below.
Ayrshire and Arran
Our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign has worked in tandem with care homes, hospitals and different university campuses in Ayrshire and Arran, demonstrating how the wide outreach of the programme is in creating culture change by working with various stakeholders in each location.
Anam Cara North Ayrshire:
The Make a Difference campaign has been taken forward by many individuals who have shared the campaign and actively encouraged others to do so. Claire Mills, who is the manager of Anam Cara Dementia Respite Services organised an incredible day in October 2015 to inspire people to make a pledge to make a difference.
They hosted an afternoon tea session where Tommy gave an awareness talk, followed by a question and answer session where people had a chance to ask questions but in a more relaxed and informal setting. To make room for their adapted housing, the centre had to have cherry trees cut down, and have hired a woodcarver to make a huge jigsaw spelling out Anam Cara with each letter made up of engraved pledges using the wood from these trees, celebrating their commitment to making a difference and encouraging people to participate.
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In February 2016 Project Engagement Lead Tommy was invited back to unveil the permanent pledge tree wall at the respite service. It is great to see the impact of our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign and that services such as Anam Cara have adopted the the principles that everyone can make a difference to a person with dementia, their family, and carer.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran:
NHS Ayrshire and Arran have shown their commitment to the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign in a variety of ways. The work began when Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw was invited by the Chief Executive to give a ‘Make a Difference’ talk in a formal Board meeting.  The Board were then invited to start off the process of making a pledge of one thing they would personally do as a Board member to make a difference.
The talks were then given to staff throughout the health board in Kilmarnock and Ayr. Several hundred pledges were gathered as a result, which have been mapped against the 10 key action points for hospitals to give meaning and context to each. They have also been used to create pledge trees which are being displayed throughout the hospital in staff canteens which are also open to the public.
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Furthermore, NHS Ayrshire and Arran has made a film in partnership with the ALLIANCE and the University of the West of Scotland which shares the journey of the campaign and the impact it has had on the staff. The video is available to view at
NHS Ayrshire and Arran are currently working with staff to find out staff’s progress with their pledges, the difference they have made and offering support for staff to fulfil their pledges.

University of West Scotland
 The campaign has been invited to reach different cohorts of students in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Hamilton, Paisley several times, helping to ensure that the next generation of health and social care professionals know the value of lived experience and have a greater understanding of the carer journey, helping to promote person centred care through values based reflection.

Work across Lanarkshire
As part of our work to promote the carer journey and voice, as well create culture change we have also provided extensive outreach across Lanarkshire. This was done by visiting the hospital, care home, and college to remind all those who work currently, and those in training, that they can make a difference to a person with dementia and their carers.
The campaign has been invited to reach different cohorts of students in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Hamilton, Paisley several times, helping to ensure that the next generation of health and social care professionals know the value of lived experience and have a greater understanding of the carer journey, helping to promote person centred care through values based reflection.
Hairmyres Hospital
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw gave three talks at Hairmyres Hospital, allowing as many staff as possible to attend one of our ‘You Can Make a Difference’ sessions. This allowed Mairi-Louise Houldsworth, STAG Local Co-ordinator to collect pledges for their own pledge tree which they launched as part of the hospital’s Dementia Awareness Week activities. The whole team gathered to celebrate the launch of the Tree as well as the Dirctor of Hairmyres Hospital, Erica Reid.

 Wishaw General Hospital Launch Pledge Hearts
NHS Lanarkshire has taken the campaign to heart at its CASS Conference and where the team help launch the what matters pledge hearts across the hospital.cqxzikwwcaqnj-y
Each ward will now have a personal poster with a ward pledge surrounded by staff personal pledges.
The team will also be going back to give more talks over the next weeks and months to support and work with the staff and their pledges.
Special thanks to Gillian Corbett, Frances Dodd and all the team and staff at Wishaw Hospital for the kindness and passion to make a difference.
Lanarkshire Care Homes
Dementia Carer Voices had the opportunity to take the campaign in August 2016 to Udston Hospital Hamilton, where an event for care home teams across Lanarkshire was organised. You Can Make a Difference is not just for health care professionals, but is extremely pertinent to the work of those delivering social care.
Pledge trees were made which allows care teams to have a sense of ownership over their pledges and helps them to reflect on their practice.
New Lanarkshire College
Dementia Carer Voices also understand the importance of engaging with students to help create a culture change in health and social care services which is more person centred and based on ‘what matters to you?’ instead of ‘what’s wrong the matter with you?’
Pledges have been collected from students at New Lanarkshire College, and we are inspired by student’s commitment to provide the best care they can.
Scottish Ambulance Service
The Scottish Ambulance Service have been fantastic ambassadors, taking forward the message of listening and learning to the voice of lived experience and committing to making a positive difference.
Pauline Howie CEO and Victoria Burnhan, Head of Practice Education & Development at the Scottish Ambulance Service invited the team to give a live Make a Difference webcast to staff across Scotland. This kick-started the new partnership, with Tommy giving awareness talks to staff on a joint tour the following week. This was further complemented by the creation of a new pledge tree to be located at the Scottish Ambulance Service Glasgow Caledonian University, where people will add their pledges and see them every day they go to class, reminding them of their commitment and the inspiration behind them.

Raith Gates Home
Teresa Easdale, Senior Social Care Worker Fife Council organised an awareness event for staff from 10 care homes from across the Fife area.  The event was fantastic, and we received amazing comments and pledges from people who attended. The response from Elaine Siggers, Unit Manager at Raith Gates Home was fantastic – Elaine put together a pledge tree where we received some beautiful comments and pledges.
Raith Gates 1 Raith Gates 2

Abertay University:
The University of Abertay has also embedded the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign in their teaching. Emma Lamont and Robin Ion, who are both lecturers in mental health nursing invited Tommy Whitelaw to give a talk to students who will be going out on placements in various locations. The lecturer will then ask the students if they were able to fulfil their pledges, and will look at the potential barriers and how to overcome these in order to provide the best support for the people they work with. The campaign has been shared on twitter, with a daily pledge going out every day for a week to showcase some of the pledges and to inspire others to make a difference.
West Lothian College
West Lothian College have launched a permanent pledge wall and tree for students to contribute to, making the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign apart of the curriculum. This will allow students and staff to support each other to have values based reflective practice, and continue to base their teaching and learning experience around their pledges.
west lothian college
Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw visited Livingston home care team staff on the 14th April, after being invited back to speak to a new cohort of staff.
The You Can Make a Difference campaign was used as part of the training package delivered to new home care staff. Inspired by carers’ experiences, Livingston Care Home staff created their own permanent pledge tree to remind staff of their commitment and encourage values based reflection. Children from the local school were invited to take part in creating the tree, demonstrating how our campaign reaches the entire community embedding the message that everyone can make a difference to the lives of someone with dementia, their family, and carers. We look forward to watching their pledge tree grow, and for their sister sites to create their own trees in Stirling.

The Care Inspectorate:
The Care Inspectorate have embraced the Make a Difference campaign, working with staff to embed a person centred culture which listens to people with dementia and their carers. This has included doing a number of satellite events in Aberdeen, Irvine, Western Isles, Shetland and Inverness which share the Make a Difference campaign and encourage people to make a pledge to make a difference. The Care Inspectorate also have a dedicated web page on their website with information on the campaign and pledges, which signposts people to further sources of information in order to support them to fulfil their pledge.

Ffion’s Pledge Trees
After attending one of our You Can Make a Difference talks Jules Lewis, End of Life Care Facilitator in Shropshire, took the key message home to her family which inspired her 9 year old daughter Ffion to make pledge trees for staff at Shropshire hospital. Ffion was then invited to share with her class the key messages behind the pledge tree and was later asked to give a talk at her school assembly.
This story is particularly powerful as it demonstrates the impact that sharing the voice of lived experience can have. Ffion’s hard work emphasises the translatable nature of the project, engaging with health and social care professionals to young people, meaning our campaign promotes a culture change not only in healthcare but society at large.
With help from her mum, Ffiona put together a guest blog piece:
‘On Monday the 7th March I talked to the children and teachers at my school in our school assembly, I told them about your work, your lovey mum and your #Tommyontour. I also showed them one for my personalised dementia pledge trees. I have been making these pledge trees for my mummy’s work friends I make a different one for each person, I put their name on it and l do my signature, the person then writes their own pledge on the tree. I hope my trees make a difference to people who live with dementia.’Ffion
Rachel’s Pledge
Rachel is a newly qualified nurse who was at a Make a Difference talk whilst she was studying at Abertay University. She invited Tommy to speak to her new colleagues and organised and promoted the event, determined that those around her would have the opportunity to attend a talk and make a pledge.
Speaking of the impact Tommy’s talk had on her, Rachel said: “Hearing Tommy speak really put things in perspective for me and I want others to have that same knowledge, because it really is precious.”
Pledge trees from around the country and examples of the project’s wider outreach:

Dementia Carer Voices was invited along to Oxleas NHS Trust’s 12th Annual Conference ‘Driving and Embedding Safety and Quality of Care’. The Trust had prepared pledge boards for the day in order to encourage people to make a commitment, which was a resounding success with over 135 delegates adding a personal pledge.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital – Pledge Trees
Burton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Dementia Strategy and Forget Me Not Care Bundle Launch
Joan Whitelaw Reminiscence Room
Sandwell and West Birminghamsandwell
After attending a Make a Difference talk, Sister Clare Woodfield made this pledge:
“My pledge is to ask the organisation to give free parking to the unpaid carers who come to my hospital to care for their loved ones”
Her perseverance paid off, and from the start of August through to the end of December, on a trial basis, the trust created a number of ward based Carers’ passes to give carers free access to hospital car parks, making a huge difference in many carers’ lives.
Morecombe Bay
The team at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust really took forward the Make a Difference message, and asked staff to reflect on their practice the week before attending a talk. A total of 27 pledges trees had been traveling around the trust on the lead up to the talk, generating 300 personal pledges.  The trees will now be displayed around the trust as a form of values based reflective practice in the hopes of inspiring others.
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UHMB also held a follow up event for teams to review and celebrate their dementia pledges. By grouping the 640 pledges into  five core areas, staff were able to evaluate their work in relation to ‘Environment’, ‘Experience’, ‘Food and Nutrition’, ‘Training’ and ‘Other’. Dementia champions reviewed the pledges in April 2016 and have confirmed a number of pledges have been delivered and are embedded within the trust. The quality committee has now published their six month dementia paper which shows how UHMB have committed to our You Can Make a Difference campaign and embedded its principles within their work in order to promote transformational change: Dementia paper Quality 2016 Morecambe Bay.

There are so many ways to make a positive difference in the lives of others, but we hope that these have inspired you by showing some of the ways people have taken the campaign forward in order to improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.
The message of the campaign is simple and can be embedded anywhere, from cities to rural areas; from boardroom to bedside. We can make a difference.
For further information on the project, please contact:
Project Engagement Lead
Policy & Information Intern
Telephone – 0141 404 0233
For regular updates, please visit the Dementia Carer Voices Blog Site
Thanks for reading my blog, You can now view my 8 short flims here!
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