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 tommy.whitelaw@alliance-scotland.org.uk

Monday, 28 February 2011

Tommy on tour! One man's walk through Scotland to raise awareness of dementia

My name is Tommy, and I'm a man on a mission.
For years I lived a hectic lifestyle in the music industry: running global merchandising operations for the Spice Girls, McFly, Kylie and U2. I was with them on international tours, travelling from venue to venue by luxury tour bus and staying in the world's best hotels.

But for the past few years I've been a fulltime carer for my mum, Joan, who has vascular dementia. I've struggled to cope on the benefits available for carers, had problems with my health and felt isolated from my nearest and dearest. I was glad to look after my mum, but it's shown me just how tough it is to live with dementia and how much of a struggle it is for carers like myself.

During Dementia Awareness Week (6-12 June 2011), I'm going to revisit my old haunts by walking to some of Scotland's great live music venues. On my way, I want to collect letters from carers: anyone who is willing to write about their experiences - good or bad - caring for someone with dementia. At the end of my journey, I'll hand those letters in to the Scottish Parliament.

This walk is about raising awareness more than anything else. But if you've heard about Tommy on Tour and you want to support the work of Alzheimer Scotland, then you can make a donation here. I know that anything you can donate will be very much appreciated.

I love my mum; she sacrificed so much when I was young and I'm happy to care for her at home now. But life as a carer can be incredibly hard. I want to raise awareness of this illness - something that affects so many people across Scotland - and of what it's like to be a carer.

Tommy