Category Archives: Inspiring People

A meet up with round the country walker, Karen Penny……

Karen Penny is doing something I can only dream of now – walking the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland. Karen is aiming to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research Uk (ARUK). When I last looked she’d reached the staggering amount of £90,117 !! 😳😳 Her Facebook page says:

I am now ready to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime; a continuous walk circumnavigating the 20,000 Kms of the British and Irish Coastline, and it’s islands. A feat never achieved by a woman, least of all by one on the wrong side of 50!”

She set off on January 19th 2019..and she thought her journey lwould take about 3.5 years, taking in as many of the islands around our coast as possible. However she now believes she just has 2 months left before completing this mammoth adventure.

Covid meant her walk came to a halt until rules allowed, but she’s now steaming on and on Monday she reached my neck of the coast. Sarah had kept in touch with her and we arranged to meet at Flamborough North Landing last Monday….

To say I was excited was an understatement. Karen is doing something I would love to do – she is living my dream! Sarah picked me up at lunchtime and we drove for just over an hour before reaching this glorious place.

The weather app 2 days before, had said we’d be meeting in torrential rain, but thankfully it had changed and the sun was shining and it was the perfect temperature. People were down in the cove enjoying the peace and beautiful surrounding

Sarah txt Karen to say we were there and we’d meet her on the coastal path. We started heading up, just stopping to take a piccie

When Sarah announced, “She’s there!”

And we could see the familiar hat and flag coming towards us waving. We’d been following her journey all this time so it felt like I knew her and we easily fell into comfortable conversation as we headed for a cuppa. I had so many questions that instantly vanished🙄

We sat on a bench in the shade and heard the most wonderful stories of her adventure. It will make a brilliant book when she has time to actually think about it. Sadly they’ve all vanished now, but at the time I remember being amazed at the stories and people she’d met along the way.

As you can see on her rucksack, she’s so far done a staggering 9,500 miles and has 1500 left AND has is on her 10th pair of boots! Not only does she walk but she carries all her camping gear on her back too! Sometimes kindness comes her way and people offer her hospitality and a bed for the night but for the rest she camps.

She had to cut short her walk around the Shetlands so still has 30 miles to do there and that will be where she finishes towards the end of September. I so wish I could be there to see her take her final step 🥰

She spoke kindly about how meeting people spurred her on and gave her that incentive again, as it must get very lonely and tiring sometimes. She has also met two other playmates along the way, Peter Berry and his wife in Suffolk and Sue Strachan in her neck of the woods. 

After an hour or so, much chatter and laughter, and putting the world to rights about charities, it was time for her to complete her final miles of the day and we had to say our goodbyes. Her easy relaxed manner and wonderful smile oozes calmness.

I couldn’t stop clicking my camera

We walked with her just a little way before waving her off and watching her go heading further around the coastline. She was heading towards Bempton Cliffs and hoped to see the elusive Albatross on her way.

We sat and watched until she was almost out of sight…and then she turned and waved one last time…

….before disappearing round the headland. We sat with beams on our face. In the car I suddenly felt totally exhausted from the exhilaration of the meeting. I knew dementia would make me pay for such an exciting day in the morning, but it was happy exhaustion; happy from having met this woman who was living my dream……

If you’d like to see more and follow her journey , her Facebook page is called Karen Penny – The Penny rolls on Walking Britain and Ireland. Even more important, if you’d like to contribute however small amount to her fundraising, you can do it here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thepennyrollson

“We believed we could…and we did!”

Dementia Enquirers……to show what we can do…

So it’s the start of Dementia Awareness Week. I’ve never been particularly keen on this as for those of us affected by dementia it’s with us every day of the year and never goes away. So to spotlight it one week a year seems a tad patronising to me, but hey ho, it gets people talking again I suppose. 

Innovations in Dementia were given funds from The National Lottery Community fund to set up Dementia Enquirers, a new approach to research that is led and controlled by people living with dementia.The lovely cartoonist Tony Husband came up with our image

The reason for the image, is that ‘leading’ the research doesn’t necessarily mean being behind the wheel. Every component of a car helps you get from A to B. Someone maybe the headlights, coming up with the direction, the ideas we take, others the wheels making sure it happens, down to the nuts and bolts holding it all together – every component vital. Even the professional lead researchers delegate work to be done by others and we were no different.

The difference in our research was that WE chose the subjects that WE thought were important. WE decided how to go about it. WE invited others through our door to support and help.


We believed we could…and we did!” 

The projects are:  

  • Thred, Liverpool: How can urban and rural transport systems help people diagnosed with dementia live independently for longer?
  • Minds and Voices, York: The pros and cons and particular needs of those living alone with dementia and those living with a care partner
  • Beth Johnson Foundation, Stoke on Trent: Does class, ethnicity or intellect affect the dementia pathway?
  • Riversiders in Shrewsbury (with Minds and Voices, York): an enquiry into the what DEEP and Admiral Nurses know about each other
  • Our Voice Matters, Hartlepool: An enquiry into the benefits of groups for people with dementia
  • DEEPNess, Isle of Lewis: The necessary components of a dementia-responsive teaching video
  • EDUCATE, Stockport: The EDUCATE Echo project

We came together last week via zoom to celebrate the launch of our reports – the findings from all our hard work over the last couple of years. We had the challenges of Covid, but we overcame them and continued adapting as we always do.

Now obviously I’m biased because our group in York, Minds and Voices was one of these groups and you can read our interesting findings and advice for professionals as a result on the link below 

But obviously ALL the groups looked into some really interesting subjects and the rest can be found here:

As we said at the beginning:

We believed we could…and we did!” 

Saying goodbye to a very special friend……

So today at midday is Sylvias funeral, saying goodbye to my best friend was always going to be hard but Covid made it even harder, but please read to the end…

The rules stated a max of 30, but now the local area has set the number at 16, so obviously her familiy had to take priority. But how sad for the family not to witness the love of many more who would have come under normal circumstances. 

So many families have had to go through this situation during the last year, I know. But not to be there feel doubly sad.  No hugs, no shared stories, the family having to go through the trauma alone. 

I’ll be watching it on zoom so at least I’ll be apart of it if only from a distance. I’ll be holding a bar of the confectionary Turkish Delight. A strange choice you may think. But when we worked together, it was our private joke that at a certain time of the month, we would both bring in a bar of Turkish Delight, warning the other that today might not be the day to pick a fight with us and for no other reason, than we both liked it. It always made us laugh and it became our joke for ever more…we often shared a Turkish Delight….

My dear friend Sylvia

We shared so much laughter

Shared tears of joy 

And tears of sadness

…….

Always there for one another

Even when miles apart

I’ll never forget our years together

What will I miss? Where do I start…

……..

One very special lady

One very special friend

Thoughtful, kind and caring

Even at the end

……..

So let’s celebrate this special life

Let’s remember all her smiles

Let’s remember all the good times

Let’s remember her with style …….

P.S – I wrote this once I knew the date of Sylvia’s funeral and at the eleventh hour the crematorium changed its rules to allow all the people she wanted there to attend. So me, Sarah, Gemma and Stuart will be there after all. I’ll take my Turkish Delight with me and hold it in my hand instead of on my lap watching zoom. It’ll be a long day, a long journey there and back, but worth it to say goodbye in person…..and I know Sylvia will be watching down to make sure everything goes to her plans…..

P.P.S David and Sylvia shared an eclectic love of music, there was always music in the house., including Oasis…

Celebrating International Women’s Day……

An extra intrusion into your weekend today…….as it’s International Women’s Day….

Hear what I recorded for a Dementia Diaries special by clicking on the link ……..about the special women I’ve met since being diagnosed with dementia……

https://dementiadiaries.org/entry/13852/to-mark-international-womens-day-wendy-recounts-her-meetings-with-other-remarkable-women-through-deep

Or you can read here…

Sorry if I offend my male playmates, but Sunday is International Women’s day, so this diary is celebrating all my wonderful female playmates in the Deep Network…..

My friendship with Deep started at the beginning with the WOW festival in York. Women gathering to debate, discuss and celebrate. It was my first meeting with others living with dementia and my first sight of Agnes Houston, my now life long friend …….she showed me the way, showed me what was possible. How women despite dementia, can have a voice…

Then there was the Speaking from the Heart Event in London – once again all women with dementia coming together and talking openly about female issues, with our lovely guest Jane Garvey from radio 4 women’s hour…..Jane said in an article afterwards that she’d been reluctant to attend as she didn’t know what to expect but on arrival had heard raucous laughter, a signal of what was to come.

Women are often in the minority in many circumstances, in the workplace, in politics in management in general…..but dementia has put us in the majority. More women affected by dementia than men. Perhaps this is natures cruel way of readdressing the balance. But many female playmates have found, through the DEEP Network, that strength comes in many guises. Where once we may have been weak and undermined, now we have the courage to speak out, to stand firm, knowing our strength lies in our numbers.

So thank you DEEP for giving us our voice, allowing us to find the voice that dementia and life had removed from many. Thank you to our strong female enablers who help us find that voice, because without you, we might still be silent…

Hot off the Press……..!!

Today sees a major announcement by my favourite people…….

“Innovations in Dementia celebrates £700k National Lottery grant to help people with dementia have a say” 👏👏🙌🙌

It’s the launch of their Dementia Voices Programme and will include a continuation of funding for DEEP and Dementia Diaries…..both of which play an enormous part in my life…..

It was in the early days of my diagnosis that I came across Innovations. It was founded by Rachael Litherland and Nada Savitch who wanted ‘to inspire people to think differently about dementia.’ I first met Nada at the York Women’s Conference that appears in my book and that conference changed my thinking and took me into a whole new wonderful world.

Since that day, that day when I was inspired to think differently about dementia, they have enabled me and many others to take part in all kinds of events and campaigns. More importantly they have allowed people with dementia to meet each other and become part of the wonderful family that is the DEEP Network. Pre dementia, I was never one for joining groups, but when I was diagnosed I had this urge to meet others going through what I was going through. The moment I stepped through that door and saw ordinary people, just like me, was a life changing moment. That’s why Minds and Voices is so important to me. We’re just there for one another, to share ideas, to support one another through good and bad.  We can walk in feeling down and leave with a smile on our faces.

We’re part of the DEEP Network, as are over hundred groups now up and down the country. It makes you feel like part of a family, a different family, a special family. You can see if there’s a group near you, or just find out more, on their web site and if run or belong to a peer support group, please think of joining us….

https://www.dementiavoices.org.uk/

And through Dementia Diaries they have given me and my playmates a way to communicate with the wider world…..

You can listen to me reading this blog on Dementia Diaries …

https://dementiadiaries.org/entry/13556/wendy-celebrates-the-launch-of-the-dementia-voices-initiative

Amazingly there are only 6 people in this not-for-profit organisation, Rachael, Steve, Philly, Damian, Rachel and Kate. You would think there’s a whole army with the amount of stuff they do!…but those 6 people work tirelessly enabling me and all my playmates and together we make up this giant army doing our very best to bring about change and continue to inspire others entering this alien world to do the same….

Funding is always an issue for many organisations so I’m so thrilled the National Lottery has seen fit to back this project with the £700,000 grant. Yes they are a small organisation, but have an understanding of our needs far bigger than their size. They are the only people I trust to support me because I know they ‘get it’. They are willing to listen and learn continually. They never forget why they do what they do.

Me and my playmates would be lost without the work of Innovations. This money will enable them to continue, in their ever innovative way, to help people with dementia inspire each other and inspire others to think about dementia differently…..

This news has made made my day……..and this lovely piccie of the 6 mashed together by Rachael shows what a smiley lot they are – our ‘able enablers’ for all to see……from left to right, Rachel, Damian, Philly, Kate, Steve and Rachael…..although we must get a new piccie of Steve so he looks less scary and less like a convict!!

 

A moving video that says it all……

Big Ian Donaghy is a well known figure in York for raising awareness about dementia. I don’t think we\ve ever met (although I suppose we may have!( but I know him from Twitterland……..

Recently one of his wonderful films came to my attention….and I just had to share it as it says everything I say just perfectly…..so sit down with a cuppa and be enthralled for the next 3 minutes…..the man in the film is the dad of someone I know….

Why I chose to step down from the 3Nations Dementia Working Party….

So following on from yesterdays blog on giving yourself an MOT, I thought today I’d tell you why I’ve stepped down from the 3 Nations Dementia Working party. This was for a different reason and I didn’t want people to think I felt it wasn’t important because nothing could be further from the truth.

I used to enjoy our 3 monthly meetings. Spending time with the most wonderful people on the planet.

Some members have come and gone for a variety of reasons but I always promised myself that if I ever stood down, I’d have a replacement for me from Yorkshire to offer up as a suggestion. I also thought I wouldn’t stand down until my term of office was up!!

However, at the last meeting I suddenly felt out of my depth. I was suddenly in awe of the knowledge of my wonderful playmates; knowledge I knew I didn’t have.

I felt I was there for the wrong reason. My reason being, I love to be with all the wonderful people, however that isn’t reason enough. Yes, I can blog, yes I can write a speech, but that’s where my expertise stops. I’m with people who are supremely knowledgeable in Human Rights, in the law, in being able to stand their ground on so many things over which I have so little stored in my memory.

I’ve always said our uniqueness and our unique talents is what makes our group but I feel my talents aren’t the right talents for the group and should be replaced by someone who has more of what the group needs.

And so I’ve stepped down. I’ve made my recommendations but, of course, due procedure has to be followed as there may be others to consider.

It’ll be me who misses out on this wonderful group as no one is irreplaceable. I’ll miss seeing all my playmates in one room but I know we’ll see each other in different circumstances and that’s a great comfort.

Of course, me stepping down means someone more appropriate can have the pleasure of being in the company of these wonderful people.

I will still carry on doing what I’m doing and following and supporting all the work they do. I may be gone in presence but I’m still there looming large and promoting all they do.

My first evening event……….

After Wednesdays event at the Humber Conference, with a blip in my brain at 11am rather than the usual 2….I knew I might wake on Thursday morning with the banging head dementia throws at you……and sadly it didn’t prove me wrong….

It couldn’t have happened at a worse time as Thursday night, I was trying out my first ever evening event….🤦‍♀️😶🙈

But then dementia is like a cruel game and I’m sure it did this on purpose. I could hear its ghostly laugh……..Anyway, there was no point in taking 2 tablets as they send me away with the fairies and I fall asleep, so I just took one in the hope it would take the edge off the banging fuzzy head…..so that at least I’d only have dementia to cope with….

I was heading for Lancaster for a wonderful event at The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster. It’s a 2 day event entitled:

“Creative Adventures in Dementia – A Life more Ordinary Festival”

but I was just there on Thursday and leaving Friday morning. I’d been asked a while ago if I would take part in a conversation with the wonderful journalist Nicci Gerrard who also writes under the name of Nicci French with her husband Sean. She interviewed me at the time of my book release for the Observer and did a lovely piece and was soo kind. She is also the founder of John’s Campaign.

Also involved in the conversation would be John Middleton, whose character Ashley had dementia in the British soap Emmerdale, and Professor Sebastian Crutch, a neuropsychologist at the Dementia Institute who is conducting fascinating research called ‘Created out of Mind’…..

https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/created-out-mind-shaping-perceptions-dementia

The fact that it was at 7pm was a tad worrying as I’d never done an evening event before but, even though I was travelling feeling groggy and with dementia in tow, it meant I might be able to get some shut eye in the afternoon.
The fact that I was on stage with others was also comforting but I knew Nicci was the perfect person to be interviewing as well.

Anyway it was a beautiful sunny morning when the taxi arrived and the town cows lifted my spirits as we trundled passed the Westwood…..

I didn’t want to mess up on the night as I’ve got the Hays Book Festival in a weeks time and that’s also in the evening so I was using this one as a trial run, but there’s no accounting for dementia putting a spanner in the works……..anyway……..to last Thursday……

I’d given myself plenty of time to change at Manchester so was able to amble quietly instead of rush about and arrived at Lancaster at lunchtime. I’d printed off all my maps etc so was discombobulated but calm when I got to Lancaster at lunchtime.

Good job I was calm as I got my left and right properly muddled and turned the wrong way out of the station🙄……but when I got to the bottom of the hill I realised I was probably going the wrong way and retraced my steps……..and eventually found the hotel…..going through intensive refurbishment😳🙈 but the staff were very friendly.

I left my suitcase as I was too early to book in so had no choice but to go wander round Lancaster…..and straight opposite was the Castle…..also going through major renovation😶

I then tried to find the theatre but my left and right were totally at loggerheads with one another – never had that before……I obviously took a wrong turning and found the river, but at least I could see where I was on the map -ha! I was stood on the only bridge on the map

Anyway, I trundled along and eventually found the shops again and then the theatre by pure chance🙄 but I seemed to go round in circles, continually getting lost🙈

The time came when I could finally check in to my hotel…….I found it a strange place….certainly not dementia friendly……with a very old fashioned lift, that was beyond me – which was having bits painted so I couldn’t use it even if I’d wanted to and I was on the 4th floor🤯…..very strange layout altogether unless I just wasn’t in the mood today…….but once I found the equally strange room, with sloping floor😳 and strange smell of curry on the linen – I was going to ask to move rooms and wrote it down on my blog …but not until I had a lie down and closed my eyes………

THEN I woke up with a start at 5.10😳😳😳😳😳 – we had decided to all meet beforehand at 6pm🤯 I’d fallen asleep without setting any alarms😱 I staggered about the room – very small room, so must have looked like a Pinball bouncing off the walls and furniture ……..cuppa tea thought brought me to my senses……..and instead of a curry smell, there was the smell of fresh linen – strange the tricks dementia plays on you, but that’s a new one…….🙈…….

After gaining consciousness and a semblance of normality I made my way to the theatre….but again got completely lost….🤦‍♀️……but I asked a smiley face and she gave me instructions. She must have stood and watched me as a few minutes later a breathless woman came up behind me saying I was going the wrong way🤐 and turned me in the right direction again. A 2 minute walk turned into a 45 minute round the houses walk…..

I finally got there to be met by the lovely Nicky Taylor from the West Yorkshire Playhouse, who promptly sorted me out and took me to the lovely Gil Graystone who had done much of the organising.. I met John, who was already there, followed by a lovely hug from Nicci and then Sebastian joined us.

I have nothing typed as there was no point in taking my ipad, and the chaos of the walk was written in Notes on my phone to deep me calm, so the rest is all about feelings.
Well I can truly say, I felt I was with 3 wonderful, warm and kind people. We clicked as a group instantly. I could have sat and talked to them all evening. The event must have gone well as everyone said kind things – someone even highlighted the jokes I cracked😳 so goodness knows what I came out with😂

We finished at 9, which was crazily late for me, and everyone had a drink in the bar – obviously mine was of the tea variety – before heading back to the hotel, with a banging head as it was very noisy – note to self, I MUST GET MY EAR PLUGS SORTED!. I felt I was walking back with 3 people I’d known for ages. I felt safe in the dark shadowy world outside with them all at my side and John walked beside me, taking my arm when I wandered off piste. 🙄

Such a lovely experience, with wonderfully lovely people…….even if dementia tried to ruin it……but didn’t succeed……..😊

Back in London again……..Day 2…

Following on from yesterdays blog……..

Sooooo after night waiting for daylight to dawn, I got up, passing the 2 red lights flashing at me still………In the light of day, the source became clear – the aliens had left the room – and it looked like a fire alarm on the ceiling…….but isn’t red for danger?????
Ah well……at least I knew……..and the trains soon started up again outside my window.

Me thinks there could be a new station on the London Underground …….Room 218……

Anyway, today it was time for the actual meeting of the 3 Nations………..

I had the lovely surprise of George Rooke having arrived last night as well, so we were almost a full set – just Northern Ireland missing……it was nice to have so many people present.

It was also Chris Roberts birthday! -as I found out from Facebook when I went on first thing to find out whose it was………🎂🎉

So once we’d all got our cuppas, had hugs and catch ups……..we started off going through the actions from the last meeting. I realised that I hadn’t done anything that had my name against it…….🤦‍♀️ but I need an email asking me so I begged forgiveness🤣 and asked Hannah just to email and I’ll reply…..

Aims for today – to assess how the group is running……….promoting the group, and the web site development……..to name a few….

We need to get the membership forms and database up and running by the conference so we can sign people up……..at present we have nothing to offer people, which is very frustrating.

We all said we need to invite DEEP to our meeting as from the start we said we had to work with the Society but also DEEP.
We’re in limbo until we have the database and membership form signed off but we’re promised it is coming soon and we’re pressing so much for it to be up and running at the Conference…….

WE’ve had people from abroad wanting to be members and we agreed that we might be able to have a ‘Friends of’ section who receive the Newsletter and hopefully want to create a working group in their own country.

We can work with professionals who can help people who have no interest in our group.
As Shelagh said, we, in the group, do live in a ‘Dementia Bubble’ – we don’t represent many people with dementia but we can help them by influencing change at a higher level and those people can then help those with no contact with services……many people are ‘hidden and seldom heard’ said Nigel……….
Shelagh opened up the conversation that everyone was thinking………..
‘We need to make sure, no matter what, that no one gets left behind” – said Nigel.

We can only do what we can…….sometimes we don’t see in our line of vision the changes happening as change is too slow………..it’s very frustrating for us. Time is one thing that isn’t on our side and change takes so much time that it seems to us that we’re not making progress when in fact we are – just not quick enough for us…….

We then handed over to Bernadine from Northern Ireland, who was here instead of Adele today – her first words were ‘Don’t beat yourself up – we have achieved an awful lot by being here’
The group can’t be all things to all people.

The social care issue is one thing that will and does affect us all, so maybe that is our one point of focus………’It’s going to the right person and going with one thing’ said Nigel quite rightly.

It seemed a very subdued meeting – something didn’t seem right and comfortable for me……..I think we’re all frustrated by words, words, words, and need actions and change before our heads explode……🤯🤯🤯

After a tea break Rik joined us from the digital team to define what our site needs to do and for what type of users. We split into 4 groups and discussed the basics of the web site.
Who the users will be and the needs they have from the website

I had trouble with this and was totally lost until I sat in and listened to George and Nigel and then was fed by their knowledge and enthusiasm. My single contribution was under the group Activists where I said we need to give people ‘permission to complain’

Once Rik comes back with a resume of todays workshop we can then go to web designers

Once Rik had left we finished of the final bits of the agenda….went through our budget etc…..always interesting seeing the costs of everything……..

Followed by…….Lunch time……..phew….. as it had been a long morning…….time for a cuppa………..

We were heading for the final session…….and I was verrrrry tired and finished………

Maybe I needed a ride on this speed boat to wake me up – random, yes, I know but I just like the piccie of speeding away……🤣

Shelagh spoke of the need to produce work where we’re actively battering the Department of Health around Social Care. Let’s use the strength of this membership and hopefully the wider membership who will join us, to actively batter.

‘Nothing changes without political will’ Nigel highlighted. We can bang on doors and talk ‘til we’re blue in the face but nothing changes. We still have poor post diagnostic care. For every single person diagnosed, there are people around these people also affected. So the figure of 850,000, which we believe to be an underestimate of those living with dementia, is multiplied tenfold when you add in those around them. This highlights the enormous chaos of the Social Care system even more.

Diane spoke of the other end of the scale – how working within our own communities is another direction.

I think the discussion that ended the day showed our frustration and part of my little spiel for the Alzheimers Society conference in a couple of weeks time fits nicely……

‘Words, say how we think. How we feel. How we want to be treated.

But we now need ACTIONS to turn these words into actual change.”

Definitely switched off then, I think……..so nothing on the end session with Tim McLaughlin…….I had to leave a little early as well as Northern Trains were on strike again today and I would have got stuck in Doncaster……😳

If you want to hear more of what I say, along with my fellow members of the 3 Nations Dementia group, come and hear our opening 45 minute session at the Alzheimers Society Conference on May 22nd……more details here…..

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementia-professionals/conferences-and-events/alzheimers-society-annual-conference

Dementia Diaries meet up – Final Day…….

Following on from yesterdays blog…..After breakfast, the final day. And it was another glorious day so time for one last photo of the grounds

Yesterday we started off with a song, today it was Steve from Stockport with a poem……beautiful

We had a recap of yesterday. We did say, they could make anything up as we were all looking puzzled trying to think what we’d said…..🤣

We spoke about how we can promote dementia diaries in the media and we all came up with our own personal contacts that might be willing. The funders will be able to give us loads of help with the media…
Raw emotions that we report on can make a big impact on the media for stories in the news, especially our feelings around the infamous stupid headlines that so often appear…

We then went onto to do some planning for the funders meeting as they were due to arrive later in the morning.

So what happens next? All the info from the last 2 days will be written up. Rachel will come up with a draft pack re guidelines for recorders and a joiners pack.

After a quick cuppa, the last of the sessions before lunch and hometime was with the funders. But first, we couldn’t resist a final opportunity to get a piccie of the wonderul ‘Class of 2017’

Not just any old funders, but Comic Relief and The Big Lottery. We all had questions……but first……..Paul and Tommy sang a song….
We all then went round and said 3 ‘golden nuggets’ about ourselves. I finished mine by saying “So a diagnosis certainly isn’t the end and everyone before you demonstrates that.”

We then all went round and told the funders why Dementia Diaries is important to us. Mine was:

“It enables us to give our immediate response to contentious issues in the news before the moment is lost and before it escapes our memory.

We finally had 3 questions for them and mine was:

“What do you want to get out of it – why do you want to support us?”

Rachel and Michael both gave their responses – They want decision makers influenced, to hear positive stuff as well as negative, To both of them challenging the stigma is sooo important which was wonderful to hear. To show it’s not all doom and gloom as we’ve proved to them that there’s so much more to dementia – perfect brownie point answers.😊

There will be a big launch in the next few months, so I’ll be sure to do another blog when it happens but as for the last couple of days……..
Philly and Rachel got it right and were amazing facilitators. They got so much perfect over the last 2 days which made all this possible for us, especially regarding the travel detail. Without their thought and devotion to getting it right, we wouldn’t have had a chance of getting to events like this safely and confidently.

BIG thankyou to them – it was a blast😘

You can hear our voices and see our words on the web site. The new improved version and content will start appearing in the next month or so……

http://dementiadiaries.org/

A drawing from Tommy finished the day and seems a great way to finish this blog.

people with dementia often feel like this inside…

But if you turn the image round…..with support and encouragement, can feel like this…