We launched the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ Campaign in February of this year and it has been so inspiring to see it grow. Tommy Whitelaw has given over 100 talks already this year, with 170 scheduled in total, and we wanted to really thank those who have gotten involved and made it all possible. The talks involve Tommy sharing his own personal experiences from caring and the experiences of others who have written to him since he went on tour in 2011, to help people understand some of the issues that carers face, and what we can all do to help overcome these issues.
The campaign has really shown the difference that every single person can make, no matter how small it may seem. This has been through asking people to reflect on carers experiences, and to make a pledge about one key action they could take to really have a positive impact in the lives of others. Some of the pledges have been about a simple change in attitude such as “I pledge to listen with open ears and open heart.” This type of change is one that we can all implement in our own lives, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we do.
The interactions that we have with people can be vast and varied. They can also be short and infrequent, and more often than we realise, the occasional conversation can be the only interaction people have with someone in their community. There is an abundance of research which shows that isolation leads to poorer health and wellbeing, but on a basic human level, it is simply wrong that people feel so alone. Time and time again, carers tell us that a little bit of time, listening and understanding can make an unimaginable difference during what can be a very difficult and lonely journey. With this in mind, we would like to encourage everyone to reflect about what they could do to help, and to make a difference.
If you would like to make your own pledge, we would really love to hear about it! Please send us your pledge via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @dementiacarervo. Let’s make a difference!