I had an amazing time at Sterling, but all good things must come to an end otherwise they wouldn’t be special. And so it was on Thursday morning I awoke to a very different Stirling outside my window. It seemed to be feeling sad like me at leaving with no sunshine, just an eerie white glow of frosty silence
The taxi arrived to pick me up at 10 for the station. We chatted away and the driver admitted how he failed to look at the snow capped mountains anymore as they were normal and he’d seen them all his life. Strange how we rarely appreciate the beauty around us when it’s been there all our lives.
The train to Edinburgh was on time as was the train to my next overnight stop – Durham.
Once more we passed the amazing scenery of the east coast and the sun shone a welcoming light once more
I was in Durham for a Research Project I’m part of – The Co-Designing Dementia in Durham Advisory Board – but this wasn’t until Friday. They’re looking at how they can improve services in the Durham area.
Rowena, an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support worker in Durham, had seen I would be staying there and asked if she could meet me to discuss some work she’s doing with Social Work Students – it was the word ‘students’ that did it………..
The staff couldn’t have been more helpful at the hotel and gave me a map to walk the short way to the Cathedral and Castle – what they didn’t say is how steep a hill it was😂🤣😂……anyway managed to get a piccie…..first of the Cathedral and then the Castle next door……
Got back to the hotel and once I’d had a cuppa it was time to meet Rowena. In this area they have 4 support workers and 5 dementia advisors and now have 18 people in their office in Chester le street – in 3 years they’ve gone from 3 to 18 – she was very passionate and her eyes sparkled when she spoke about her work….She’d made contact with me because at a dementia friendly meeting Anne White (I’m sure that’s a Twitter friend 🤔) suggested I might like to talk to social work students doing a masters at Durham Uni ….and they’ve also got contacts in Sunderland Uni, and Northumbria Uni ……….her 3 young children are all dementia friends. She mentioned another playmate from social media, Gill Taylor who will also be helping her….👍
She worked with a couple where the husband living with dementia had trouble speaking, and the wife was getting very frustrated and annoyed with him. Rowena made him some cards with pictures on that he could show his wife – so when he wants a cuppa tea he shows her a piccie of a cuppa tea – result….and now the atmosphere in their house is far calmer and happier – simple yet effective solutions coming to the rescue again.
Anyway, just time for a selfie before she left with me promising to contact her when I’m back home in front of my calendar…some wonderful work appears to be happening in Durham….
Looking forward to the final meeting today before I can trundle home. I did get in a pickle with an usual shower door…it didn’t open out or in or slide….panicked cos I couldn’t get out and then banged the side of my head when it opened unexpectedly, so just warning my girls that I may have a black eye when you see me….. 🙄. I know perfectly well not to panic but I did🙈. ….
It’s been an amazing week but soooo looking forward to being home tonight………🏡