2015 seemed to be characterised by conference-going in the end but I learnt a lot and met some amazing people, not least Mary Sherwood from the Meteorological Office who has set up an initiative called Dementia Friendly Workplaces. We are going to be working together in 2016 on day conferences for HR managers who are interested in supporting their workforce by setting up similar support systems in their offices.
In addition to taking calls on my helpline, which is utitlised mainly by people referred to me by the lovely Admiral Nurses, and the talks I am delivering, I will be helping to organise DemFest in September in conjunction with RemindMe Care. This will be based on the model successfully piloted by Ian Bradford in Kent last year which welcomed 600 visitors despite them advertising on Facebook alone! We will also be setting up a Facebook page where everyone who is displaying, speaking, and performing can add their details.
At the end of last year I attended the UK Dementia Congress where we ran a workshop on the Mental Capacity Act and had our own stand. We definitely felt as if we had arrived and it was great to bump into past colleagues from the Alzheimer’s Society, Kings College, Innovations in Dementia, Support in Dementia, and Admiral Nurses. Dave Bell who works on the Admiral Nurses helpline received a well deserved award in recognition of his dedication to people living with dementia.
As always we balance precariously with regards to finances but the Athena women’s business network raised £1300 for us at their party on December 4th at Warren House which has kept us solvent! We had a fantastic meal and auction, a huge thank you to people who attended and bid on the auction. Here’s to 2016!