Highlights, reflections and looking to the future

Written by: Tommy Whitelaw, Project Lead, the ALLIANCE

Published: 16/12/2019

As we come to the end of the year, Tommy takes a look back at some of the project's highlights.

This year has marked a turning point for the Dementia Carer Voices project. From January 2020, the project will be called Carer Voices and reflect our commitment to widening our impact and highlighting the voices and lived experience of all carers.

As we near the end of 2019, on behalf of the Dementia Carer Voices team, I would like to both reflect on what we have achieved thus far and send a massive thank you to everyone we have met this year.

Many of our highlights this year continue to be a reflection of people coming together to celebrate caring and sharing what matters to them in aims of creating a kinder and more compassionate community of care.

Through our ‘You Can Make A Difference’ campaign, we have now:

  • Reached an incredible 200,00 people comprising of health and social care professionals and students alike;
  • Delivered 950 talks centred on ‘Intelligent kindness’ and the ‘What matters to you’ movement;
  • Gathered 28,000 ‘What matters to you?’ pledges from health and social care professionals;
  • Launched countless #WMTY pledge trees across hospitals, universities, colleges, care homes and HSC Partnerships Scotland-wide.

We have built stronger relationships with Glasgow City Health and Social Partnership, having delivered over 40 improvement sessions on ‘Intelligent kindness’ and the ‘What matters to you’ movement to approximately 1,000 members of staff. We even had the opportunity to travel 4,119 miles to the sunshine state of Florida to share both our work and this message more widely at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care. And this work will continue and further extend as our project transitions from ‘Dementia Carer Voices’ to ‘Carer Voices.’

Above all, we have celebrated the passion, commitment and hard work of caring. A personal highlight for me remains our Concert for Caring at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow where we were able to bring together 1500 people to pay tribute to Scotland’s 759,000 carers. Another highlight was celebrating the 10-year Anniversary of the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers in Scotland with colleague, Irene Oldfather and partners at the Scottish Parliament.

We have been fortunate to have met so many remarkable people and to have heard their caring and love stories – these people have equally made an impact on us as we have to them. We look forward to meeting more people and hearing more stories throughout 2020 and beyond.

And this is because, in the last year, we have grown more confidence in our belief that how we care and show value for one another and our stories really matters. As we approach 2020, we look forward to working in partnership with all who care for others to keep this message at the centre of all of our future work.

Stay tuned for further updates in January 2020!

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