For five years Tommy Whitelaw was a full-time carer for his late mother Joan who had Vascular Dementia, and in 2011 Tommy undertook a walk around Scotland’s towns and cities to collect hundreds of life story letters detailing the experiences of individuals caring for a loved one living with dementia. Tommy took the stories to the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of the value of carers, providing a platform for people to share their experiences and highlight what is needed to better support carers in Scotland.
Since then, he has engaged with thousands of carers through his ‘Tommy on Tour’ blog and as Project Lead with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland’s Carer Voices project, conducting frequent talks to health and social care professionals and carer organisations across Scotland, raising awareness of the impact of dementia on families and the importance of empowering carers in carrying out their difficult but vital role. The ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign has now reached over 220,000 people across 1,080 talks, gathering 30,000 what matters to you pledges to make a difference.
Tommy's passion for his work and the project has not gone unnoticed, sharing key messages at talks for and in partnership with Professor Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland and Professor Jane Cummings, the recently retired Chief Nursing Officer for England.
- He was the winner of the 'Age Scotland Jess Barrow Award' in 2013;
- Finalist Campaigner of the year 2013 for 'The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards;
- Awarded the NHSGGC Chairman’s Ambassador Award 2013;
- In 2015, Tommy was awarded the 'British Citizen’s Medal for Services to Healthcare';
- Tommy was a finalist for the Kate Granger awards 2016;
- Received an Honorary Master of the Open University for Health, Social Care, Education and Policy making influence
Tommy joins us to share the next stage in his journey and the session promises to be filled with fun and laughter on a subject that's important to us all as we continue with our studies before heading off into our professional careers.
The event is free to Nursing Society members with a £2 nominal charge for non-members, the event will be held on the Zoom platform and if you would like to you can purchase a ticket online.
This event is being hosted by the Nursing Society and if you've been studying for a while or just joined the University to begin your Nursing journey the Society is the place for you connect socially with other students from the School of Nursing, find out more and become a member on our minisite.