Q & A with Trustee
Why dementia, why Town Break?
My mother in law Carole sadly was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 66 and lived with it for 12 years. In the early diagnosis Town Break allowed both myself and my wife some respite when we were able to drop Carole off for a few hours. Kirsty, Linda and Davina were fabulous with her, and this really put our minds at rest and we were able to switch off for that period. Carole lived with us so we had the responsibility of looking after her 24/7. Clearly the majority fell to my wife as I was working during the day. I took early retirement and knew that I wanted to give something back and Town Break was an obvious choice for me.
Biggest priority for the coming months?
Laser focus on delivering our strategy for both the short and medium term. Attract new talent in the form of trustees from different backgrounds to give is a greater breadth of both knowledge and experiences. Onboard new volunteers so that we can meet the growing demand for our service which includes the commitment to extend and embed dementia post diagnostic support. Seek out new locations within the community so that our support and services are accessed by those who need it. Continue to steer Town Break in the right direction to grow our services for the future. Create new long term partnerships and grow the brand of Town Break and reach a wider audience so that others know who we are, what we stand for, what we offer in terms of a service and support.
Most important thing you’ve learned from a person with dementia?
Not to try and change the person living with dementia but to go with the flow as they transition. Let them know you love and care for them daily either with a smile or just holding their hand. The diagnosis isn’t the end it’s the start of a journey and that includes living your life well with dementia. Continue to build new memories and sharing old memories constantly.
What do you find most rewarding about being a Trustee?
The ability to give something back to a charity that is close to my heart. It’s about making a difference and using my previous business experience to help point the charity in the right direction and keep us on track. That you are not alone as you have other trustees who you can collaborate with and decisions are made by the collective.
What motivates you as an individual?
Knowing that I am making a difference and an insatiable appetite to always do better and be better.
What’s your proudest achievement so far in life?
The obvious answer would be to talk about my family and all that I have achieved personally during my career.
However, I am going to say that I am extremely proud of who I am, what my values are and knowing who I am as a person. Having taken early retirement I am proud of my other roles as a volunteer for Equip Mentor working with children with mental health issues and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers again working with youngsters.
I continue to strive to make a difference and add value to people’s lives who may otherwise not have been so fortunate.
Of course it would not be right for me not to mention being chosen by Town Break as one of their trustees.
I’m proud to say that I am not just standing still and the overwhelming ambition is to continue to make a meaningful contribution in my community.