Sunday, 31 March 2013

Missing mum and campaigning, papering over the cracks

Missing mum and campaigning, papering over the cracks  
This has been the saddest and hardest weekend since mum passed away .Much like when I was caring for mum and campaigning during my respite hours, I am leading two separate lives .I have drive, passion and the best of reason to go out and campaign, All I witnessed mum going through over 5 years, the letters I receive and the people I have met, there is no greater reason or drive required ,and much like then I feel strong when out doing talks ,or listening or trying to reach out to other to listen. Together we where lonely in so many ways, from crowded rooms, events, talks or meetings it was always just my wee mum and me alone mostly every hour of every day ,trying to survive instead of succeed .I keep busy to keep away from how much I miss my best wee pal .Mum was always my pal but over the 5 years as needs and relationships changed she was most certainly my best pal and needed  no words to inspire ,comfort or care for me,she could do that with a knowing smile and I really miss that smile today as pain of missing my mum and the loneliness in this house & heart try to beat me into submission ,As weak as I felt so often caring for mum ,as scared as I/we where so often ,caring for mum always got us through but just sometime I feel so sad and alone and heartbroken for a mum who made it better no matter what she faced
Joan Whitelaw my magnificent kind caring mum ,I could do with that smile tonight

twitter @tommyNtour
Collecting Life Stories  ,raising awarerness
Short film shown at parliament http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347

Dementia, Collecting, life and love stories, to raise awareness

Dementia, Collecting, life and love stories, to raise awareness
This campaign started in my bedroom whilst caring for my magnificent mum was never a petition or protest .It was and still is based on life stories .To truly understand or help someone ,we have to know about them .We reached a crisis through a lack of understanding from within and to often towards us .My mums life was a love story ,her love for family, friends and ability to care for and about all she met .Dementia was allowed to play to big a part .it certainly has the power if not handled with the correct support ,advice and understanding  to veer towards tragedy across the family .
My campaign is about life and love stories ,our experiences good or bad can help raise awareness ,understanding and help with the greatest gift and right for all to keep our lives as close to a love story as possible
I have taken the life stories received to date to government, local authorities, motions at councils, to talks with reports across the care sector, universities, colleges, carer groups, the voluntary sector all based on our lives in our words
You can help by sending your life story, thoughts, and experiences good or bad to tommy@i-woz-there.com  .my promise to you is the same promise I made to my mum to all I can to bring a  better understanding on dementia and caring to the best of my ability across the wider society

Tommy   
twitter @tommyNtour
Collecting Life Stories  ,raising awarerness
Short film shown at parliament http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347

Saturday, 30 March 2013

4 talk’s southern Genera Hospital April 9th 16th 23rd &30th

4 talk’s southern Genera Hospital April 9th 16th 23rd &30th

Hi

I have been invited to speak to staff at the Sothern General Hospital, 4 in total over April .I was invited to do a presentation last month by Geraldine Marsh a lead nurse to ward sisters and Have been invited back to speak to staff on April 9th ,16th ,23rd& 30th  .with great thanks to Geraldine NHSGG&C and all involved for the opportunities to speak about ,Dementia ,caring for my mum ,the life stories I receive  and families I meet on my tour

My mum was very rarely in hospital over the 5 years I cared for her. Until the last 2 months of her life when mum was admitted 3 times each time for a week after a seizure and other health problems.
This happens to be the hospital my magnificent mum passed away and the staff who cared for my mum over those weeks will be at the talks ,so I feel quite emotional even typing this ,but As a son who cared for his mum I feel these opportunities are of great importance and privilege

Thank you Geraldine and the entire ward sister for this unique opportunity


Tommy  
  

Friday, 29 March 2013

Just one of those days when the tears don’t want to stop

I have been really busy over the last weeks with talks ,filming and the members debate at Parliament and that’s how I like it ,Having to much time to think always ends in tears .With the bank holiday weekend and everything being closed it highlights the loneliness that is my life in many ways ,Since mum passed away I have increased my awareness work filling every possible hour and day .I knew first thing this morning it was going to be a tough day .I gutted the house from top to bottom to occupy my mind ,then popped down to the super market for some shopping .As has happened a few time before I found it a bit upsetting ,you pass by all the items you picked up over the years and especially the last year as mum was only able to eat certain foods I got home and haven’t even finished putting the shopping away as the tears started and don’t seem to want to stop
I just miss my wee pal so much ,and to much time to think highlights the misery we felt and faced to often, Joan whitelaw  was my wee mum ,my best pal and the person who although I cared for her got me through the tough days and I miss her guidance .kindness ,friendship .love and smile
Whoever said big boys don’t cry  was wrong ,they certainly never had a mum like mine ,a mum worth missing and crying for       
 tommy
twitter @tommyNtour
Collecting Life Stories  ,raising awarerness
Short film shown at parliament http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347




Today Filming interview with NHS community engagement team (caring for mum)

Tuesday Filming interview for/ with NHS community engagement team (caring for mum)
 Hi

On Tuesday I will be interviewed by Nhsgg&c community engagement team for a case study /staff training film on life caring for my mum from diagnosis till my wee mum passed away. I have been a guest speaker at a few events organised by the community engagement team and I hope in some small way this interview /case study will help
Thank you to Dan and all the team for this opportunity to share our story .

Tommy




Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Today speaking Reid Kerr College then more filming “its ok to ask


Today speaking Reid Kerr College then more filming “its ok to ask   


Hi
I have been invited back to speak to Nursing students at Reid Kerr College in Paisley .I was a gust speaker there last term and I look forward to speaking about caring for my wee mum ,Dementia ,the letters I receive and families I meet on my tour and taking some questions from the students
Thank you to the staff and students for the invite
#awareness #lifestories  

After my  talk I will be back out doing more filming with the lads from enterprise screen on the new carer engagement film “ ITS OK TO ASK “ we filmed all day Tuesday and have a few more location shots and interview’s to do .With thanks to NHSGG&C-chp for taking this idea forward I will be involved as a son and on a voluntary capacity

Tommy   

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Home from 1st day filming “ITS OK TO ASK “ a new carer engagement film


Hi
just home from a long day from the first day of  filming a new carer engagement film “ITS OK TO ASK “ in partnership with NHSGG&C- CHP ,Its was great to spend the day with the crew from enterprise screen who directed and filmed my Tommyontour film funded by Alzheimer Scotland back in 2011
I took the idea for this film to Peter Daniels and Jill Carson from NHSGG&C and it is based on my own experience caring for my mum and from the content in many of the letters I receive .Many people are heading towards crisis before they ask for help or are not aware how or who to ask for advice and support and more than that not aware of support they can get to help when life changes in so many ways as a loved one needs care
For me personally I was lost lonely and isolated and asking for help seemed an impossible task .I hope this film and the awareness road shows that accompany and follow the launch helps reach out to carers and also bring more understanding on the caring roll to the wider society
I will never claim that services and support will fix all the problems and issues we face caring for a loved one but its to hard to do it alne and I truly believe it’s a tragedy to not know about help available and I truly believe “ITS OK TO ASK “
I dont want anyone to feel like I felt to often and i want everyone to get the best help and support  available thats not to much for anyone to ask ,is it ?
Tommy

Monday, 25 March 2013

Today filming “ITS OK TO ASK “ a new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C-CHP





Hi

Tomorrow and Wednesday ,I will be out filming my part in a new carer engagement film “ITS OK TO ASK “ in Partnership with NHSGG&C –CHP , the  ALLIANCE and myself  I took the idea to NHSGG&C A wee while back based on my letters and feedback from families I have met on my tour  .I look forward to start filming (I do this on a voluntary basis ) and  launching when finished and hope this film in some small way l helps, families, carers and services engage and helps with the message in the title that its ok to ask

Thank you to NHSGG&C and partners for taking this idea forward


Tommy    


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Tomorrow speaking Reid Kerr College Paisley to nursing students

Thursday speaking Reid Kerr College Paisley to nursing students

Hi
I have been invited back to speak to Nursing students at Reid Kerr College in Paisley .I was a gust speaker there last term and I look forward to speaking about caring for my wee mum ,Dementia ,the letters I receive and families I meet on my tour and taking some questions from the students
Thank you to the staff and students for the invite
#awareness #lifestories  
Tommy



Friday, 22 March 2013

Today speaking SDCRN Conference


Hi

With great thanks to the SDCRN for inviting me to speak at their annual conference on Today .I had a stand yesterday along with today .I look forward to speaking about life caring for my wee mum ,the life stories I receive and the people I have met  on my tour along with showing my short film .I also have a stand on both days along with a display wall on dementia carer vocies .I hope if you are attending you will pop by to say hello

Speakers over the two day event are as follows  
Professor John Obrien (Cambridge)
Professor Peter Passmore (Belfast)
Dr Patrick Kehoe (Bristol)
Simon Ridley (Alzheimer research UK)
Professor Pauline Banks (UWS)
Dr Gary Stevenson (Stratheden hospital)
Dr Maggie Robertson (University Highlands and Islands)
Shirley Law (DSDC Stirling)
Tommy Whitelaw Tommyontour / dementia carer voices

You can get more details on the 2 day event at the link below



Facebook page: sdcrn
Twitter: @TheSDCRN
Tommy



Thursday, 21 March 2013

Thanks to all involved Parliament for MY members debate

After yesterday's enjoyable, productive and emotional day in Parliament, I would like to say thanks to the MSPs who played a part in making it happen, particularly to Jackie Baillie for organising a debate on this most important issue.

Thanks to all those who took the time to drop by our stand and find out about the motivation behind, and basis of this campaign.

johann lamont Iain Gray, Kenneth Gibson, Keith Brown, Willie Rennie, Stuart McMillan, Mark Griffin and Duncan McNeil.

And to those who during the debate discussed the issues being raised through the letters and spoke from the heart during the debate on what it means to care for someone with dementia, many of whom spoke from personal experience.

Jackie Baillie, Fiona McLeod, Nanette Milne, John Pentland, Roderick Campbell, Jim Hume, Claire Baker, Mark McDonald, Elaine Murray, Sandra White & Michael Matheson.

I would also like to thank DFM  Nicoala Sturgeon for staying for the debate to give support

thank you all from a son ,thank you for caring thank you for remembering Joan and all the other Joans across the country ,thank you from a son

This campaign has always been about people's thoughts, experiences and feelings whilst caring, Their lives in their own words. I am pleased that yesterdays debate did justice to the courageous words of those who took the time to share their own experiences with me, and hope that it in some small way contributes to a growing awareness of the role that dementia carers play and the issues they face, so that in the future no one has to face the same loneliness and isolation that I experienced.

Tommy

Video of debate
http://youtu.be/9iHhwjt7n2M

http://www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/get-involved/view/dementia-carers-voices/

http://www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2013/03/dementia-carer-voices-heard-in-parliament/

https://twitter.com/DementiaCarerVo

Earlier today Dementia carer voices debate at Scottish parliament


Hi
Just home from Edinburgh after attending our debate on dementia, caring and my dementia carer voices project based on my Tommyontour tour campaign
With great thanks to Jackie ballie for hosting the debate and to all the Msps from all parties who took time to speak many sharing personal experiences
I will add an update on all that happened today in the morning with the transcript and photos from  today but I have to say the discussion at the debate was open, honest and I am grateful for the kind comments re my Tommyontour campaign and towards the dementia carer voices project .Dementia carer voices is about people our lives in our words and that was reflected in the debate MSPs sharing personal thoughts
As a son I just want to say thank you to all who stopped by to say hello in the afternoon and to all who where part of the debate .and for the welcome the dementia carer voices was given
I will add more tomorrow on all that happened today
Tommy

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Dementia Carer Voices April newsletter & Project Team

Introduction to Dementia Carer Voices Project Team

As you know,  my Tommy on Tour campaign has been taken under the wing of the ALLIANCE as a two year project with funding from the Scottish Government. I am really proud that a campaign which started from my bedroom whilst caring for my Mum Joan has reached a stage to work alongside the Alliance who do a lot of really good work on behalf of people living with many long term conditions. I am really looking forward to working with them, as my campaign has always been about people and I believe I have found the right people to take my project to a new stage. I have great respect for the Alliance Chief Executive Ian Welsh, Programme Director Irene Oldfather who was on my wish list to work with for the last year, and Christopher Doyle who will be leading on Policy and Information. I believe this forms a partnership of people
 who together can help represent families like mine who have shared their life stories with me.



Please see below some more information on the Dementia Carer Voices Project Team that I am proud to working alongside.

Programme Director : Irene Oldfather 

Irene Oldfather is presently Programme Director at the Alliance leading on Dementia Carer Voices, the Life Changes Trust Project and Active Ageing. 
Formerly as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, Irene set up and Chaired the Cross Party Group on Alzheimer’s and Dementia which drafted and agreed the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers, now incorporated into Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy.  As an MSP for 12 years Irene actively campaigned on the rights of older people and was the first ever Member of the Scottish Parliament to be nominated and shortlisted for Dod’s 2009  UK Parliamentary Award for services to Older People. She also Chaired the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee until May 2011.
She was a Member of Committee of the Regions for 14 years until May 2011 and in October 2011 and February 2012, she returned to Chair seminars on European Year of Active Ageing 2012, in Brussels. Her recent publications include PATH to Active Ageing 2012.
Irene was educated at Strathclyde University, where she obtained an Honours degree in Politics and a post graduate MSc by Research. Before becoming an MSP she taught at the University of Arizona and the University of West of Scotland and worked as a journalist, researcher and broadcaster.
January 2013

Policy and Information Assistant: Christopher Doyle

Christopher is working alongside me to collect some of the key messages shared in the life stories and present these in a way that we can use to inform Health and Social Care Policymakers and Practitioners.
Before joining the Alliance, Christopher graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Politics, and worked monitoring Scottish Parliamentary Committees and Debates for a public affairs agency.

Further Information
For more information on our project, please visit http://www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/get-involved/view/dementia-carers-voices/, or alternatively contact tommy.whitelaw@alliance-scotland-org.uk or christopher.doyle@alliance-scotland.org.uk



Monday, 18 March 2013

Emotional return to parliament

An emotional return to parliament on Wednesday

My awareness campaign started with some homemade posters from my bedroom during my respite hours whilst caring for my wee mum Joan .In the middle of my campaign I walked round Scottish towns and Cities colleting life stories with only one promise to take those letters to the Scottish Parliament .Not in protest nor petition bus as they where, life and love stories .I have been to parliament a few times since for meetings and updates .Always coming home to tell my wee mum all that happened as I would do when out meeting carers or doing awareness talks ,My wee mum was never well enough to attend ,dementia had taken a firm grip by then but mum was always part of the discussion the first letter my own personal story

On Wednesday I have a members  debate based on the life stories and my new project Dementia Carer voices with thanks to Jackie Baillie for facilitating this.As a son and on behalf of carers I have met ,have still to meet and who send me life stories thank you .This time I will come home to an empty house and in many ways an empty heart as my wee mum will not be there to hear all that happened 

.I discussed this once with  the then Health Secretary and Deputy First Minister Nicola sturgeon as we met to chat about  my campaign about and how  there is always great  sadness that my mum was never able to attend the things I do in her name.after mentioning this she said  I have to meet the mum ,Joan you always talk about ,and she did Nicola came in private to our house one night in the last weeks of mums life and held my mums hand.So  when I go to parliament for this debate on Wednesday to do the best I can in my  wee mums name  and all who face this illness and their carers I will have many emotions but will never forget the night parliament came to Joan

Tommy        
with my wee mum Joan

with Deputy First Minister Nicoal Sturgeon  who came to meet my mum

with Shadow Health Secretary Jackei Baillie Discussing members debate

Sunday, 17 March 2013

April 19th speaking civic event Camden with thanks to Cllr Meric Apak and Mayor Camden for the invite


Hi  


With great thank to Councilor Meric Apak  and the Mayor of Camden for inviting me to speak at a Dementia event they are hosting on April 19th .in the Civic Halls Meric got touch a while back after reading my blog and watching my short film and said he would keep me in mind for future events and I am grateful for this opportunity to speak as son about my magnificent mum, dementia caring and the life stories
Cllr Meric is social care exec member for the council in North London and before caring for mum I stayed in north London for many years I also during my time working on tour merchandise worked on many shows at the then town and country club Camden with various bands

So thank you for this opportunity to raise awareness on dementia caring and life stories and visit my previous life before caring

Earlier that day I will be speaking at the Alzheimer show at 1pm for me another unique opportunity to raise awareness and after the 2 talks getting the overnight train to Inverness to speak at a fringe meeting at the Labour part conference

Also a big thank you to Firstgroup Scotrail for helping with a train ticket to allow me the chance to speak about my awareness work

Thank you all of the above I will post more details when I have them

Tommy
Son Awareness campaigner

A busy week – member’s debate –SDCRN Conference

Hi
I have a busy week coming up; tomorrow I have a meeting with a great friend Caroline who has a few ideas we are going to explore .Caroline along with Irene who is my mentor and director on the dementia carer Voices project facilitated by the ALLIANCE was on a wish list of people I would like to work with as my campaign from my bedroom took its course .So I hope added to the friendship we can tick another box on my wish list made a year ago by doing something together .Irene ticked Alliance ticked Caroline ticked awareness on-going hopefully ticking more boxes over the coming months and year
On Wednesday I / we have a members debate at the Scottish Parliament based on my Tommyontour –dementia carer voices project at the ALLAINCE  .We have a stand to hand out briefings in the garden Lobby at 2pm followed by the members debate at 5 pm.More info at the bottom of the page I hope a few Msps stop by to say hello and chat about DCV ,Tommyontour and the and the thoughts of carers

On Thursday and Friday I have a stand at the SDCRN Conference in Stirling and hope if you are attending you will stop by and say hello I am also speaking at the conference on the Friday
The awareness campaign goes on you can get involved by sending thoughts or opinions to tommy@i-woz-there.com  and help us take the story of dementia and caring to the widest audience

(The ALLIANCE is pleased to announce that Dementia Carer Voices will be the subject of a Members Business debate on the 20th of March.Just after 5 pm next Wednesday, Members of the Scottish Parliament will debate Jackie Baillie MSP’s parliamentary motion which highlights the role played by those who care for the estimated 86,000 people in Scotland living with dementia, the challenges they face and the importance of supporting them by raising awareness of dementia and the carer journey. The motion welcomes the Alliance’s Dementia Carer Voices project for giving a platform to the views and experiences of carers of people with dementia across Scotland

The Dementia Carer Voices project team have produced a briefing ahead of the debate and will be available in the Garden Lobby from 2-2:30pm, to meet with MSPs and discuss the work of the project.)
The debate can be watched on the Scottish Parliament’s ‘Parliament TV’ section of its website-http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/3168.aspx 


twitter @tommyNtour

Collecting Life Stories  ,raising awarerness
Short film shown at parliament http://tv.enterprisescreen.co.uk/watch?v=347

Friday, 15 March 2013

Today Tommyontour my members debate Parliament March 20th



please see news on my dementia carer voice project based on the Tommyontour campaign 

The ALLIANCE is pleased to announce that Dementia Carer Voices will be the subject of a Members Business debate on the 20th of March.
Just after 5 pm next Wednesday, Members of the Scottish Parliament will debate Jackie Baillie MSP’s parliamentary motion which highlights the role played by those who care for the estimated 86,000 people in Scotland living with dementia, the challenges they face and the importance of supporting them by raising awareness of dementia and the carer journey. The motion welcomes the ALLIANCE’s Dementia Carer Voices project for giving a platform to the views and experiences of carers of people with dementia across Scotland
The Dementia Carer Voices project team have produced a briefing  and will be available in the Garden Lobby from 2-2:30pm, to meet with MSPs and discuss the work of the project.


The debate can be watched on the Scottish Parliament’s ‘Parliament TV’ section of its website-http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/newsandmediacentre/3168.aspx >



Motion S4M-05522: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/01/2013

Dementia Carers’ Voices

That the Parliament understands that there are currently 84,000 people in Scotland living with dementia*, a figure that is expected to double over the next 25 years; acknowledges that caring for someone with dementia can be a difficult experience; values the contribution made by families and carers of people with dementia in the Dumbarton constituency and across Scotland who, on a daily basis, provide support to loved ones with the illness; recognises  the importance of carer support and respite where appropriate; notes the importance of raising awareness of dementia and ensuring that people with dementia are treated with dignity and respect, and welcomes the work of a number of key stakeholders and organisations who give a platform to the views and experiences of carers of people with dementia across Scotland including the Health and Social Care Alliance's Dementia Carer Voices Project and Alzheimer Scotland's National Dementia Carers Action Network.
*The most recent statistics now put this figure at 86,000.

Dementia Carer Voices
Dementia Carer Voices, managed by the ALLIANCE, is a two year project funded by the Scottish Government which harnesses the work of Tommy Whitelaw and recognizes the importance of the carer voice, in informing future service provision and in empowering carers themselves.

In June 2011, as part of his ‘Tommy on Tour’ campaign, Tommy Whitelaw, a carer for his late Mum Joan, walked around Scotland’s towns and cities to raise awareness of the impact of dementia on families and the difficult but vital role played by carers. Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through twitter, his blog and frequent talks to health and social care professionals and carers organisations across Scotland, allowing him to collect hundreds of life stories from people which detail their experiences of caring for a loved one living with dementia. The letters demonstrate that carers of people with dementia often feel isolated and that there is insufficient recognition of the range of complex issues about which they are expected to have understanding, from legal to financial, to health and housing, as well as, cope with the distressing, social and emotional demands of caring.

As Project Officer with Dementia Carer Voices. Tommy continues to collect letters and stories and build on that work. The project aims to –

Capture the experiences of carers across Scotland with a view to informing future policy and service provision;
Empower carers by providing information based on the Charter of Rights and Carer Strategy about caring for someone with dementia;
Highlight the role of carers as natural resources; carers as people with needs;
Work with other carer organisations and key stakeholders to ensure that relevant strategies are well informed by the views of service users.

Outcomes
Establish a greater understanding of dementia and the carer journey among health and social care professionals;
Highlight the importance of family carers being enabled after diagnosis to build and sustain a network of support, preventing crisis situations and enabling carers to ask for additional help when it is needed;
Reduce isolation of carers of people with dementia;
Increase awareness of carer rights;
Gather information supporting family and person centred approaches to health and social care.

The project will achieve this through visits and talks by the Project Officer Tommy Whitelaw to Carer Organisations; the provision of written materials with key carer messages; dissemination of information including through social media; and films to raise awareness/understanding. A Dementia Carer Voices survey is presently in operation via the ALLIANCE website to collect key carer information which will be captured and published to raise further awareness of issues of importance to carers. Evaluation feedback from talks to carer organisations is also available on the web and indicates high levels of satisfaction particularly from health and social care students about hearing the carer voice first hand.

http://www.alliance-scotland.org.uk/get-involved/view/dementia-carers-voices





busy emotional week of talks, thank you for the privilege


A busy emotional week of talks, thank you for the privilege


The last week has been quite a busy week. I have done 4 talks over the last 5 days to Nursing ,mental health students and a carer group .This my real passion. I hope taking the story on caring for my wonderful wee mum .the letters I receive and families I meet on my tour  to the widest audience possible adds a bit more understanding and I hope value. My first talk was on Monday to social care students at Cardonald College then Wednesday to 500 nursing students at Caledonian University ,on Thursday I met with carers at Lockerbie carer group and finally Today Friday I spoke to mental health students at Ayr college


I would like to say thank you to all who attended and invited ,for taking time to listen to a sons story. I hope it added some small value to all who attended ,that’s not for me to say .So thank you

I feel a bit emotionally drained to be honest as the heart of my story is about my wee mum who I miss very much. but I feel  it’s important to tell this story in the hope it help raise awareness and understanding  


Tommy   


Thursday, 14 March 2013

special our story BBC radio Scotland has been re scheduled the letters the ife stories

this has been re scheduled .waiting  on a new date 


Easter Monday Dementia BBC special our story BBC radio Scotland the  letters the ife stories

BBC radio Scotland will be re- airing broadcast about caring for mum mum and the life stories on Easter Monday
Please see below the link to the BBC Scotland Medical Matters  Dementia, who looks after the carers /Tommyontour the letters special With great thanks to the amazing families who write to me and share their stories and for their courage in reading them out also to Sally Magnusson for her kind interviews and producer Liza Grieg for her and Sallies understanding and respect to all involved  

with great thanks to Prof June Andrews for her advice and Knowledge on the show

The campaign to raise awareness continues you can send you’re story

to tommy@i-woz-there.com 
  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nq2xt

Caring for Carers
As someone who's cared for a parent with dementia, Sally Magnusson is concerned that there isn't enough support for carers looking after their relatives at home. In this Medical Matters, Sally talks to carers of people with dementia, including campaigner Tommy Whitelaw, who toured Scotland raising awareness of how dementia affects sufferers and their carers, by asking carers to write letters telling their stories that he presents to the Scottish Government. Though caring for a loved one is often a privilege, Sally discusses what makes it such a challenging and traumatic experience, and asks what we can all do to ease the strain on carers.

Sometimes it feels too hard

Sometimes it feels too hard

It has been quite a busy week .I have had a few talks, quite a few meetings and trying reach as many people as I can .I feel as If I have two separate lives, and that is not just lately I have felt like that since this campaign started .when mum was here it was just the two of us the majority of the time I had my respite hours and would try and use most of them to raise awareness and that has continued and increased. In fact in many ways I am even more determined to take the life stories, our story and awareness to as many and as far as I can .Its important to me do fulfill the promise I made to my mum and the people who sent their letters and I feel strong when doing this I feel at my best ,but each day I come home to this empty house and there is a sadness in heart that I cant escape from ,  I miss my wee mum so much ,I miss her friendship ,her guidance and her care .Even I was  described as mums CARER  and mum especially over the last months or year of her life needed much carer ,she always cared for me even when all was against her the love and care from her eyes gave me strength and on a day like today when its not been the best of days I miss her kindness even more a smile from my wee pal was always enough to make it better
That’s the thing about missing  a mum and best friend sometimes  you feel ok and sometimes it feels to hard

Today speaking at Ayr College to mental health students

Hi

I am speaking Today at Ayr College today  to Mental Health and Nursing students .With thanks to Tara Stuart and the college for the invite .I look forward to speaking to the students  about my wee mum ,dementia ,the letters I receive and people I have met on my tour

I will also be popping in to see David Roxburgh from  south Ayrshire carers who has been a great friend to my campaign and catch up on the great work he does in south Ayrshire

Tommy 


Earlier Today meeting and speaking to carers in Lockerbie

Hi 

with great thank to all who attend the Alzheimer Scotland  Lockerbie  carer group  for making me feel so welcome earlier today .Due to train times I had to leave a bit earlier than planned It was great to meet them at last and I hope to get back  down again in the near future to spend more time and update on any more progress 

thank you for the wee gift as I left ,   


Hi

I am going down to Lockerbie  today to  meet carers and families  from Dumfries and Galloway  who attend the Lockerbie  carer group With thanks to Gilly  who got in touch via my blog a while back to ask if I would come down and speak about caring for mum .the letters and my wee campaign .the carer group is facilitated by Alzheimer Scotland  so thanks also to Isabel who runs the group

You can get more info on the group at the link below    

Tommy

Address:
Dementia Resource Centre
8 Gordon Street
Dumfries
DG1 1EG
Tel:
01387 261303
Email:

Tomorrow filming "ITS OK TO ASK " new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C -CHP march 26th



Hi
we start filming "ITS OK TO ASK " a new carer engagement film with NHSGG&C -CHP  on  march 26th .This new film is not a Tommyontour film as such .I took the idea to NHSGG&C a wee while back and I am happy to announce filming starts next week  I will be volunteering my services  to this film and hope it helps both carers engage with services and bring more understanding on the caring role

With thanks to NHSGG&C -CHP for taking this project forward


tommy

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The ALLIANCE announces Round 2 of the Self-Management Impact Fund is now open.


The ALLIANCE announces  Round 2 of the Self-Management Impact Fund is now open.

The ALLIANCE is delighted to announce that Round 2 of the Self-Management Impact Fund is now open. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on the 13th June
The fund provides a unique opportunity for voluntary organisations and partnerships to develop and strengthen new ideas as well as existing approaches to self management.
The Impact Fund Guidance Notes give details on how to apply and you can download an application form here.

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