So the final event of a busy week was at Leeds United football club for the Alzheimers society West Yorkshire Staff and Volunteers annual event.
Michael White, Operations manager in the region, had visited me at home some time ago to discuss the day and how I might be involved. Kath Chappell, administrator extraordinaire, had sorted out all my transport, including someone meeting me at the station, so partial brownie point immediately earned, although obviously the full one would be allocated as soon as my cuppa tea was in situe at the venue………….😊
I was meeting Ellen Hingley, Legacy giving officer for the north, at Leeds, and she’d kindly supplied the photo I needed so I didn’t go off with anyone and everyone! And given me her mobile to txt in case of trains not behaving……
It was a lovely start to the day, nice and sunny, but it was a tad foggy in my head as I’d not recovered from the long day in London on Wednesday. But if I keep typing, it may wake me up…….🙄
The Humber was amazing as always as we trundled over but I won’t bore you with another photo of the same scene 2 days running……and anyway, the windows were dirty and blotchy so I just deleted the ones I took to pass the time and help me to feel calm.
Ellen met me as planned and we were both on time along with another person and we got a taxi to the venue
Kath met me inside and completed her brownie point for the day by getting me a cuppa tea and I sat down and watched the room fill up. There were about 80 + people altogether and we settled down for a good day.
Michael is now the new National Change Manager for the Society so Wendy Porter was the MC for the day as she is now interim Operations manager
We were here to celebrate all staff and volunteers in the area and recognise ‘we’re all cogs in a bigger machine’
We started off with an icebreaker where we had to complete a bingo card by talking to everyone and finding out who fitted into 1 of 9 categories….one of which was ‘unusual middle name’ and I found someone called McAlpine!
We went through the agenda for the day before Wendy P started off.
Volunteers are core to the organisation – Wendy showed an amazing slide which showed:
number of paid staff hours were 35, 702
and volunteer hours were 35,919 – amazing, and shows the reliance and importance of volunteers.
In West Yorkshire there are over 25,00 people living with dementia.
Wendy P spoke of work being done in south Asian communities, travelling community and the LGBT community and all the barriers faced. The experience of discrimination by them in the past means that approach may have to be done totally differently. Just goes to show that people need support in different ways and doesn’t always mean people going to support.
Judith King, Head of Region Yorkshire, North East and Lincolnshire, was up next and gave a strategy update.
Next up was me for 45 minutes. I spoke about anything and everything, as I do. I started by saying my talk would be just as much of a surprise to me as it would be for them as I didn’t have a clue what I’d written🙄
At lunch many people came up and said some very kind things, which is always lovely.
Before we started again, there was just time to take a piccie of the amazing
Dr Claire Walton was up after lunch talking about research in the Alzheimers society. Her slide on research implementation was really interesting.
The process for clinical research implantation is a clear pathway but the process for implementation of social or community care or support is less defined. Routine process of implementation is what’s needed. Claire quoted the GRACE study looking at cognitive rehabilitation by Linda Clare from Exeter. The aim was to work out sets of goals of things people with dementia were having trouble with and want to do better and the service works with them to meet the goals they set themselves, developing strategies to being able to live better.
The outcomes were very positive and the society are now funding Linda Clare to implement over 15 NHS areas, which is good to hear.
Anyway, sadly I had to leave at 2pm. My brain had already disengaged and it needed to be at home just sitting. It was a really good day and West Yorkshire is very good at showing and doing the best.
Special mention needs to go to Kath, who not only sorted my travel tickets, txt me, got me a cuppa on arrival but also paid the taxi driver when he picked me up so I wouldn’t have to claim back……simple things that makes involvement sooooo much easier – thank you Kath😊