So yesterday I was due at the research network arm of the Alzheimers Society for the second day of their conference, however, I had a change of heart……..
The night before was the evening meal at The Oval. I usually decline the meal and sit happily unwinding in my room with a tuna sandwich…….but yesterday so many people had come up to me and asked if I’d be there that I felt I should give it a go…..
It wasn’t until I got there and one of the society staff asked if I’d be in York on Wednesday and I felt so guilty saying no, I’d be in London instead. Over night I decided that I should and want to be in York with my playmates so decision made, then panic stricken for letting the research network down🙈….I really need 2 of me………☹️
The wonderful A Team from Yorkshire were there to look after me for the evening meal so I was in safe hands as were my playmates from the 3 Nations. I’d known some sad news early in the day and it was announced at the meal last night. The news that Matt Murray was leaving the society.
Matt was the first person I ever met in person from the society when I saw the button on the web site to ‘Be Involved’. It was then that I joined the research network volunteers and our wonderful friendship began. I trusted Matt. He allowed me to break all rules and become a monitor ahead of the usual time simply because time is an unknown quantity for someone with dementia. He always said what he was going to do, when he was going to do it and always responded quickly to emails.
Everyone moves on, and Matt is a wonderful catch for any organisation but I will miss him dreadfully and I’ll always have special memories of Matt.
I only lasted the first course before the noise and buzzing bees of conversations around me became too much and I left them to it……
So the next morning I woke and started working out my new plan. I txt Sandra to say why I wouldn’t be there and then I went and checked out and saw people in the breakfast room so was able to apologise in person……
I also had to txt Gemma so she wouldn’t pick me up in the evening!!
I had to be there for midday…..I realised when I eventually got on the train that I’d rushed the planning and didn’t find the best train, but hey ho……too late ……..
I arrived at the station to find the Tony Husband, Ian Beesley and Yorkshire tea voice man Ian McMillan setting everything up along with Philly, Rachael and Damian from Innovations in Dementia – all of whom have made this event possible…………
Philly earned her first brownie point of the day by immediately going to get me a cuppa tea……….as Virgin train didn’t have enough staff for a trolley service on the train, so I was gasping!
The media arrived in the form of the local BBC and the radio was there I think too……marvellous …….my playmates were wonderful at speaking up.
A brass band of children arrived to play a fanfare
before the unfurling and then several playmates stepped forward to reveal the wonderful banners created by an amazing designer with wonderful images by famous cartoonist Tony Husband. Equally famous Ian Macmillan read out 2 amazing poem and then the reveal happened. What amazing banners which just say it all……..
The equally famous (have to treat them all fairly🤣) Ian Beesley said:
‘“ unfurling the banner cos we’re unfurling the future” wonderful……❤
Many photos were taken and so many members of the public came over to ask what we were up to and the children in the band were amazing. The local BBC and newspaper were also there .
Once everything was over we had one last photo en masse in front of the banners. The banners show one negative image and one positive image and what travel means to us folk from a Yorkshire viewpoint….transport and our Rights…………
We had a coach back to Priory Street, lunch and a debrief………we were all on a high as it had been such a success. Yellow ‘I want to speak’ cards were up all over the place in the room.
And what a wonderful booklet to come out of this amazing experience for us all – full of cartoons, photos, poems and stories – superstars⭐
Travel is so important to me, yet is so stressful. Yet small changes can make it possible.I’m so glad I changed my plan today because all our words of the past 18 months, today became an ACTION of our own…