10 year anniversary of Letters, Life and Love stories campaign sees landmark lecture

Section: People and NetworksType: News Item Date Published: 4th June 2021

Inaugural Joan Whitelaw lecture will celebrate carers in Scotland.

The ALLIANCE Carer Voices project is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of campaign work to raise awareness of dementia, and champion the role of unpaid carers across Scotland with a number of digital events.

Held between 7-11 of June 2021 as part of the ALLIANCE’s annual conference, Equally Valued: Equally Connected (this link will take you away from our website), the events will create a space for conversation and learning on dementia, caring and person centred approaches within health and social care.

The Inaugural Joan Whitelaw lecture held on 8 June will feature two keynote speakers; Maureen Bisognano, Professor Emerita and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, and Henry Simmons, Chief Executive at Alzheimer Scotland. This session will be chaired by ALLIANCE Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement, Irene Oldfather.

10 years of campaign work for carers in Scotland

 The lecture will mark the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of ALLIANCE National Lead for Caring and Outreach, Tommy Whitelaw’s, campaign work, Letters, Life and Love Stories, on dementia and caring, and is named in loving honour of his late mother Joan. In June 2011 whilst caring full-time for Joan, who had Vascular Dementia, Tommy Whitelaw organised a campaign walk across Scotland to speak to carers. In doing so he collected hundreds of individual stories and experiences about caring for loved ones.

Along with the lecture, Carer Voices is also hosting a panel discussion on 9 June on the values of the What Matter To You? movement, and will be launching a short film featuring carers from across Scotland.

Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through his ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and within the Carer Voices project. Carer Voices tours Scotland asking health and social care staff and students to reflect on how they can make a difference for people living with dementia. The project has now reached 250,000 people across 1250 talks, and has gathering 30,000 pledges on person centred practice from health and social care professionals. The Carer Voices project works closely with Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer to share key messages.

Irene Oldfather, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement at the ALLIANCE, says of the 10 year anniversary:

“The story of Joan and Tommy is well known to carers across Scotland. It’s great to see a celebration of this and to mark 10 years of hard campaign work with the Joan Whitelaw lecture at the ALLIANCE conference. This session brings together those who have worked with Tommy over the years, and I am sure many who have been inspired by him will make note of this important milestone”

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