Written by: Audrey Birt, Associate Director (Health and Social Care Academy), the ALLIANCE

Published: 04/07/2016

We have some sad news to share this week, with the death of one of the ALLIANCE's founding contributors, the inspirational Shazia Akhtar.

The ALLIANCE’s 10th year anniversary celebrations have mostly been a time of reflection, remembering and re-engaging with a focus on the future. It’s been a whirlwind of events, milestones and positive recognition. However, we have some sad news to share this week, with the death of one of our founding contributors, the inspirational Shazia Akhtar.
Shazia had strong views on self management, formed from her own experiences both positive and negative – and she grabbed every opportunity to share her story with others, honestly and with integrity. Shazia’s views and insights helped to shape the backbone of the ALLIANCE’s core values, and she came to as many ALLIANCE events as she could to talk about her life in an open and constructive way, linking those values with examples of the highs and lows of her own self management journey.
When the ALLIANCE were developing the ‘My Conditions My Terms My Life’ Self Management Awareness Raising Campaign, Shazia was among the first to sign up to be a face, and voice, of the campaign. She saw the value not only of encouraging other people living with long term conditions to engage with self management, but also of being able to recognize and celebrate the involvement of those around her as a team – her friends, her family, her colleagues and her healthcare professionals.
Shazia worked hard to control her conditions, and the interactions they had with each other, while at the same time recognising the importance of work, life and play. She found strength from sharing her story, whether positive or negative, with frankness and integrity, but always with purpose.
So this week, although we remember Shazia with personal sadness and love, we are thankful to her for the very distinct and long-lasting contribution she made to the ALLIANCE, to self management in Scotland, and to the many people she touched with her genuine confidence along the way. Our thoughts are now with those whom she valued most, those friends, family, colleagues and professionals who she supported and who in turn supported her to live the life she wanted to, and most certainly did.
Kevin Geddes, Director of Development and Improvement – the ALLIANCE 
Audrey Birt, Associate Director (Health and Social Care Academy) – the ALLIANCE

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