You Can Make A Difference

Section: People and NetworksThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 13th May 2019

The Dementia Carer Voices project’s You Can Make A Difference campaign is coming to an end having collected 23,000 pledges.

Over the last five and a half years, Dementia Carer Voices has held improvement sessions with students and health and social care staff in hospitals, care homes, universities and colleges across the UK.

In the process, we have engaged with around 170,000 people at nearly 900 talks, collecting 23,000 pledges to make a difference – all of which are available to read on our website.

These pledges encompass practical improvements in the workplace, as well as more personal reflections.

  • “I will never forget, even when the people I care for do, who they are and what matters to them. LOVE ALWAYS WINS! Set the standards high.”
  • “My pledge is to be someone’s voice when they are unable to speak.”
  • “I pledge to get to know a person by their name, their story, and not as the person with dementia.”
  • “I pledge to never forget the privilege it is to be part of someone’s journey.”
  • “I pledge to continue to visit my patients who are lonely and encourage them to fulfil their potential and listen to their stories. Their past teaches us how to be better human beings.”
  • “I pledge to make Gran (a retired nurse who has dementia) proud. And to never stop learning from the people I meet.”
  • “My pledge is to treat everyone I care for with the same respect, love and care I would give my own loved ones.”

Our Rights and the Carer Voice publication also highlighted some of the barriers people face when trying to fulfil their pledge. The most common themes were a lack of time, a lack of resource and workplace pressure. An amazing 45% of people, however, reported that nothing would stop them making a difference.

You can read about how some of these 23,000 pledges have been turned into meaningful actions on the Case Study section of our website. Following on from our improvement sessions overnight rooms and dementia friendly lounges have been created, ‘What Matters to You?’ boards have been put up in wards and patients have been married in hospital.

So keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on with your pledges. If you have any examples of having turned your good intentions into purposeful actions, we’d love to hear from you. Please email any stories you would like to share to

We plan to produce a legacy report very soon, summarising more of the outcomes from our You Can Make A Difference campaign including feedback from a selection of our partners.

We’re really excited as a team to begin the next stages of our work, building on the learning from our pledge campaign. Although we will not be collecting pledges anymore, our improvement sessions will continue as a part of our new campaign. We plan to carry on our partnership work with Glasgow City HSCP whilst continuing to analyse the poetry we received last year in partnership with the University of Glasgow. And we have a few more exciting announcements to make soon too – so keep an eye on the Dementia Carer Voices section of the ALLIANCE website for updates over the coming months!

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