Category: My Activities

Last Morning at Woodbrooke

After a challenging day at the Young Dementia UK conference in Birmingham yesterday, the night was calmer than the night before although the air again was crisp and there was a short shower before breakfast.

After Breakfast, there was still time to relax in the garden with a coffee, the sun was now out and out of the wind it was quite warm.

Time passed and it was soon time to say my goodbyes and head off in a taxi to the railway station.

The journey back to Sheffield wasn’t as bad and I arrived pretty much on time and took a taxi home.

Later on Friday night, I was online for the Dementia Alliance International Action Group meeting, a fantastic group of people worldwide, challenging the stigma and human rights abuses, who campaign for change not for themselves but everyone living with or supporting people with Dementia.

I have written this article after returning home and the detail of my time at Woodbrooke has already begun to fade.

I can remember the room but its detail is like a blueprint. I know what was in the room but trying to visualise each piece of furniture leaves me with an image of its outline.

Wardrobe

It seems as though the detail is just beyond my reach.

I look forward to being back at Woodbrooke in the near future and relaxing in the gardens, whatever the weather.

Also this week, Young Dementia UK announced new vacancies from Young Dementia UK in Sheffield


 

Young Dementia UK Conference

After a relaxing day Back at Woodbrooke, all night the wind and rain lashed about outside with the odd branch falling to the floor.

There was a crisp Autumn feeling and the leaves had begun to fall across the gardens.

We all gathered for breakfast and then took taxi’s into the city centre to “The Studio” where the Young Dementia UK Conference, organised by Hawking publications, was being held.

The Studio

After a coffee, the conference began with the opening addresses and the obligatory housekeeping.

There were then a series of presentations, which contained too many facts and figures, too many numbers and graphs and by the break it was beginning to be a challenge to stay focused.

After the break and more presentations came the “Dementia Diaries Live” performance

some relief and humour from the mornings challenges, followed by a humourous talk by Peter Lyttle from Freshers Cafe

YDUK2

Over lunch it was time to meet and talk to delegates, to challenge perceptions and talk about how people with Dementia can be involved in the evolution of Dementia services, challenging the negative narratives and the human rights abuses.

During the lunch break, I was able to meet Dr Richard Hawkins and Mark Ivory from the Journal of Dementia Care and Eloisa Stella, Vice-President and co-founder of Novilunio Onlus Association amongst others.

Peter Berry had presented his cheque for the money he raised from his cycle ride in June from the Welsh coast to the Suffolk Coast

PeterBerryCheque

It was just a shame that this was done by the stairs not on stage at the conference.

After the lunch, the conference continued but the continued wave of information became overwhelming for our group, I looked around and they had all gone, to be found behind the Innovations in Dementia/DEEP UK/Dementia Diaries stand on bean bags

Frazled

I think we were generally disappointed with the conference, my understanding that last year was about professionals and this year about people living with Dementia.

Having written this article retrospectively, the detail of the presentations have long been lost in the fog of Dementia but this is a copy of the programme.

YDUKprogramme

It should have been an opportunity to showcase the work of people living with Dementia under the age of 65, to show what can be achieved with inclusive post-diagnosis support, services and rehabilitation.

To get out the message that the way Dementia is portrayed by society, Governments, Healthcare Systems, and the media is wrong, to turn the negative narrative into a positive one.

To get the message out that you can live your life within the reducing limits of your Dementia following a diagnosis of Dementia.

The Global Disability Summit mantra of “Nothing About US, Without Us” could have been more prominent in the planning.

Eventually we retired to the local Pub and then made our way by taxi to Woodbrooke.

After supper we relaxed before retiring to bed one by one, Wendy Mitchell having left us at the conference to continue her busy schedule in the west country.

Also this week, Young Dementia UK announced new vacancies from Young Dementia UK in Sheffield

Tomorrow would be my Last Morning at Woodbrooke for a while.

Back to Woodbrooke

Recently, I had the pleasure of returning to Woodbrooke, formerly the home of George Cadbury and now a Quaker conference centre in Birmingham.

A taxi took me to the railway station and with my noise cancelling headphones removing the cacophony of noise surrounding me I made it onto the train.

Naturally we were delayed getting to Birmingham, engineering works at Derby causing a stop start progress.

Arriving in Birmingham, later than planned, I took a taxi to Woodbrooke, where the receptionist greeted me with a smile and her broad Brummie accent, seemingly recognising me from my previous visits.

I left my coat and bag in the luggage store as it wasn’t yet time to check in and I got a coffee and went and sat in the garden.

As I sat in the garden with my coffee, it was windy and spitting with rain but I didn’t care, it was time to relax and enjoy the wonderful garden.

I had left Dementia at the door with the judgements and negative perceptions, it would sneak in over my time there but would be sent away like a naughty child.

I bumped in to Philly Hare and Rachel Litherland from Innovations in Dementia CIC who were having a meeting there, Philly would be staying on but Rachel would be off to London later that day.

After lunch, coffee in hand it was back to the garden, the sun had come out and it was quite warm out of the wind.

I sat and relaxed waiting for the arrival of more of my wonderful friends who I would probably have never met if it wasn’t for my Dementia.

From 5pm they began to arrive and by supper time we all gathered in the dining room to catch up.

After supper came the rehearsal for the “Dementia Diaries Live” performance at the Young dementia UK conference the next day.

It began calmly and seriously…

Calm

Then the humour began

DDLIVE3

…until it ended in a fit of giggles.

Sadly, no one was up to taking photos of our “Director of Laughter” Wendy Mitchell leading the rehearsal into chaos and gradually one by one we retired for the night.

It was a wonderful end to the day reader, people with Dementia can enjoy themselves.

Also this week, Young Dementia UK announced new vacancies from Young Dementia UK in Sheffield

Tomorrow would see us at the Young dementia UK conference.

My Activities

This page brings together some of the activities that I have been doing since I finally began to live with my diagnosis of Dementia.

Apart from taking part in research, the main turning points were Twitter and the

A Good Life with Dementia course

which then led on to

My first trip to a Dementia Cafe.

First time at my Local Dementia Cafe

DEEP UK – Shindig Group

My First Friendly Dementia Cinema

Activities reader, no matter how small can help us to live our lives within our Dementia.