4 Years of Collecting Life Stories

It’s now 4 years to the day that our very own Tommy Whitelaw began walking around Scotland’s towns and cities to collect the life and love stories of people across Scotland who care for a loved one with dementia. Tommy was a full-time carer for his late mother Joan who had Vascular Dementia, and he felt passionately that no one should have to face the confusion, loneliness and isolation that he himself felt. On 6th June 2011 he began his tour which saw him collect hundreds of life story letters detailing the experiences of individuals caring for a loved one living with dementia.




Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through his ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and as Project Engagement Lead with the Dementia Carer Voices Project at the Health and Social Care Alliance. Tommy has continued to do an incredible amount of outreach work, taking the life and love stories of carers who have written to him, carers we have met in person, spoken to on the phone, heard from through email or through our online survey and shared these with health and social care professionals, students, MSPs and members of the public. As our Project Engagement Lead, Tommy continues to conduct frequent talks to raise awareness of the impact of dementia on families and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out their difficult but vital role.

We’re all so proud of how much Tommy has achieved in the past 4 years, raising awareness of dementia and of what this means for families and carers across Scotland. We would also like to thank each and every one of you who have attended an awareness talk, read our blog, followed the campaign, made a pledge or quite simply asked someone how they’re doing.

Thank you for making this dementia awareness week so successful and thanks to Tommy for raising awareness every day. Together we can make a difference.


Posted in News
4 comments on “4 Years of Collecting Life Stories
  1. Harlon says:

    I think this is brilliant and meaningful work…we can learn so much from the narrative of others. Keep up the great work, it is inspiring, uplifting – and I remind myself, it is do-able. Thank you! Harlon

  2. Julia says:

    I can honestly say that Tommy’s talk at my local hospital was a privelege to attend. No where else have I encountered the honesty and empathy he enthused. I wish there were more Tommy’s. So far I have come across no support from anywhere else for the emotional devastation that follows diagnosis and the day to day losses, great and small. Quite often it is the smaller things that hurt the most. Thank you for sharing so much and being a comfort in a most distressing and life changing time.

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