Mini Tour Care Homes Ayrshire August – Arran – Ayr – Girvan- Maybole- Beith – Ayr

This weeks update comes from Project Engagement Lead Tommy, who outlines the project’s plan for August, where we will be busy visiting various locations throughout Ayrshire! Let’s find out what he has to say:

I’m very excited to be going on a Mini Tour of Ayrshire. In fact, our Make a Difference Campaign started in Ayrshire with Derek Barron and Janice Mcalister at Ayr and Crosshouse Hospital, and the launch of the first Pledge trees along with Kerry Rennie and Tony Fisher for North Ayrshire Council, where we launched a pledge wall at Anam Cara

  • We start off on August 2nd, myself and  ALLIANCE director Irene Oldfather with be traveling to and around Arran for 3 talks with Kerry Rennie and North Ayrshire dementia services meeting families, carers, and health and social care professionals.


  • On August the 9th I will be volunteering for the day with the wonderful Food Train across Irvine and North Ayrshire. 


  • My next stop along the way will be at Dalmellington Care Centre Ayr on the 10th and then on to Fairknowe care home Maybole on the 12th


  • The next stop along the way will be Thistleknowe Care Home in Bieth on the 17th


  • On the 23rd I will be attending and joining a steering group to look at supporting dementia friendly Girvan Hospital 



  • The final two talks will be to nursing students at the University west of Scotland Ayr campus Hamilton Campus September 14th 1pm – 3 pm Ayr campus September 16th 10 – 12 am the 1 pm till 3pm. We’d thank Fiona Miller, senior lecture, for inviting us back to deliver our campaign. We really appreciate our ongoing relationship with UWS and meeting new cohorts of student nurses. 


I’m very much looking forward to a wonderful mini tour with great friends from across Ayrshire Mini Tour Care Homes Ayrshire August – Arran – Ayr – Girvan- Maybole- Beith – Ayr

Thanks from at Dementia Carer Voices!

Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges, 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts, News

NHS Ayrshire & Arran pledge to make a difference

Big thank you to our good friend Janice McAlister, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant for inviting Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw to speak at the Ayrshire & Arran Care Home Dementia/Delirium Conference on July 18th at Crosshouse Hospital.


We have worked together with Janice and Derek Barron who chaired the event many times in the past. You can also view a film we made in partnership with the University of West Scotland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the ALLIANCE.

It was great to back to attend and for Tommy to speak at, what was a brilliant and inspiring day.



Read the inspiring pledges from the day below:


I pledge to give my residents the best quality of life available to them. Always to see “the real person” and not the illness.
Jane Harkness

I pledge to improve my resident’s quality of life through my role as activities co-ordinator. To make their life as joyous and filled as possible.
Adam Smith

I pledge that I will never lose sight of the person in my commissioning role.
Val Allen

I pledge to treat every person I nurse the way in which I would like someone to nurse my much loved relativities.
Laura Houston

I will spend more time and make more effort to learn more about the people I care for to improve people’s lives.

I pledge to attempt to make a personal connection in every interaction with residents on a daily basis no matter how little time I have.
Kelli Thomson

I pledge to treat everyone in my care as “a person” and give them the dignity and respect they deserve. Always put myself in their shoes “how would I feel?”
Dawn Kenneth

I pledge to help my residents as much as I can and make their life meaningful.
Sharon Smith

My pledge is to always care for patients with respect, dignity and as an individual understanding more about them as a person.
Kelly McCartney

I pledge to listen and hear my residents, to act upon their wishes to see them smile.

I pledge to make a connection that makes some person feel special every day.
Ina Speirs

I pledge to continue to hold people’s hands and listen to their stories.
Sheena M Martin

My pledge is to beg, borrow and plead for integrated training for all staff within the care homes i.e. dementia champions.
Ann Burley

I pledge to ask our residents. What matters to you? Who matters to you? Reflect in plan. Georgette Langan

I pledge to help, in whatever way, people to be cared especially, children and elderly people. They are our conscience.
G Ferrara


Thank you Janice, all the team and to all who attended.  We look forward to catching up soon and to continue to take our You Can Make a Difference Work to care homes across Ayrshire and Arran.

Team DCV



Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Lanarkshire Care Homes Event

With great thanks to Lynn Flannigan from Lanarkshire Care Home for inviting Tommy Whitelaw to speak at their Lanarkshire Care Homes Event on the 30th August 2016 .

Tommy will talk about how everyone can make a difference, and will give some practical advice about how you can promote an ethos of “Who matters to you?” and “What matters to you?”

All who support people with dementia in care settings are welcome to this event, including carers. Please note, places must be booked for this via


The event will be held at

Lanarkshire Care Home Event 30th August 2016
Udston Hospital
Board Room Please note places must be booked via;
Farm Road

Posted in News

World Congress on disability and inclusion

On 25-27 October 2016, there is to be a World Congress on disability and inclusion in Edinburgh. It will be held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. It is expected to be a very large event, attracting speakers and around 1000 delegates from across the world. The Congress is run by an organisation called Rehabilitation International with some partners.

Inclusion Scotland has negotiated some opportunities for Scottish Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and Scottish disabled people to be involved in the Congress.

There are various opportunities to get involved so please look at their website to find out more details!

Posted in News

Abbotsford Care Home Launch Permanent Pledge Wall

Happy Wednesday Everyone:)

Today we are showcasing Abbotsford Care Home Permanent Pledge Wall.

Project Engagement Lead, Tommy Whitelaw, was invited to give a talk to Dementia Ambassadors a few weeks back that Mandy Scott, Dementia Ambassador, attended

Big thanks to Mandy and all at Abbotsford Care Home, East Wemyss, for launching a permanent pledge wall at the care home.

We truly are inspired that Mandy had led this initiative to launch a pledge wall at the care home.

The team are looking  forward to watching the pledges and the tree grow. #makingadifference


Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges

Driving and Dementia by James McKillop


Friend of the ALLIANCE, James McKillop, writes about his experience of losing his driving license and describes an interesting day out. Read more and download his booklet here



Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts, News

From the prism of Brussels – What does Brexit mean for People with Dementia and their Carers?

This weeks guest blog post comes from ALLIANCE Director, Irene Oldfather, speaking about what does Brexit mean for People with Dementia and their Carers?  Lets see what Irene has to say…

The truth is that at this point in time no one really knows.  Various meetings in Brussels this week confirm that the way ahead is uncertain and the one thing we can be sure of is that this is “uncharted waters” that will require blue sky thinking.

Across the Third Sector as the ALLIANCE Brexit survey has shown there is uncertainty around what an exit might mean in terms of resources and at what point changes might kick in.  Further to that – how will any future deficits be recovered?

Despite knocking many doors this week for an answer – no one really knows. The absence of a clear exit strategy is glaringly obvious.

A big personal disappointment is the huge question mark now hanging over the British Presidency?  If I were a betting person, my money would be on this not now taking place next year.  Should that turn out to be the case, it is a missed opportunity to raise awareness around the issue of dementia which was clearly going to be a UK and Scottish Agenda item.

28th June dementia debate

Only last week I tabled a debate in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Social Affairs Committee, on the matter of future co-operation and actions on Dementia.   Over 7 million European citizens have dementia and many more families and carers live with dementia.   Given the highly developed policy framework and the Charter of Rights, the British Presidency would have been an ideal opportunity to showcase progress.

While much has been done, the stories that we hear everyday Illustrate that there is more to do to narrow that gap between policy and implementation.   That is why stories like Tommy’s and our Dementia Carer Voices project play such an important part in supporting the improvement work to be done.

Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations we must ensure that there continue to be resources allocated to the Third Sector to deliver in our communities.   Also that we continue to learn and share knowledge and good practice across the European Union.

One of the areas for which we must all take some responsibility is sharing the good news stories from Europe.  This week alone Scotland has been highlighted in the European Innovation Programme on Active and Health Ageing as a four star reference site in recognition of the innovation which takes place in partnership working for the benefit of our elderly citizens.  In the days ahead let’s keep at the forefront our focus, keeping people at the heart of what we do and ensuring that we find ways to continue to work across Europe for the benefit of marginalised people and communities.

You can also view Group Three member views on the recent EU Referendum in the UK in the latest EESC newsletter here, with a few words from Irene on page 5.

Irene Oldfather
Director – The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland
Member of Group Three – EESC

Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

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