About me

If asked to describe myself, the first thing I’d say is that I’m mum to Simon, 25, and Clare, 23. Some would say I should describe myself first, which of course I recognise; however these two young people are the joy of my life.

They have been my constant during the past 15 years which has brought many changes and challenges to our lives and we live to tell the tale. It’s a journey which has brought me here now. I believe with my whole heart that many of us don’t ever take the time to acknowledge our past, the story of our life. Life story work is just one of the things I love to do, to help people look at their past, understand it a bit better and hopefully choose to write a different story for their future.

Life can be challenging but I believe that if you dig deep and work hard, good can come from our past and help us make better life choices. I developed a true passion to support others to focus on making their lives better and now it is how I make my living. I am a facilitator, writer and life coach. I support individuals and groups to share and write their stories, regardless of their past. I support people affected by loneliness and isolation to connect to their community. I am also passionate about supporting people who are affected by dementia and those at end of life.

I hope you will find something of value on my website and I look forward to meeting you.

I’m glad you found your way here.

My experience

  • I cared for both of my parents who lived with and died from dementia.
  • I have 40 years’ experience working in social care services with children and adults with learning disabilities, and also with people affected by dementia.
  • I develop and deliver training in person-centred dementia care for families, and paid and family carers. This combines my personal experience of being a carer with professional training and experience.
  • I was involved in Playlist for Life (www.playlistforlife.org.uk), an initiative focussing on the power of personalised music for people living with dementia.
  • I am an experienced public speaker and have taken part in numerous conferences.
  • I have helped people who need additional support to take back control of their lives which may have unwittingly been taken away by paid professionals who can often make decisions that they would not tolerate for themselves.
  • I was a council member with Alzheimer Scotland.
  • I was Vice Chair with National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN).
  • I have contributed to training DVDs and created my own training DVD with mum called Mother Tongue.
  • I worked with the Care Inspectorate as an inspection volunteer.
  • I was consultant in a pilot project with Care Inspectorate which involved recruiting, training and supporting people living with dementia to become inspection volunteers.
  • Using the self-directed support principles of choice and control, working with older people to encourage them to live life the way they want and not simply using what is available.
  • I volunteer at a local hospice.
  • I am a writer in residence in care homes and day services for people with dementia. I spend time with people and by using music, photographs and objects, conversations emerge which encourage people to share part of their story. This can prompt people who have not used words to communicate for some time to begin to use words, and my role is to listen and write them down, developing these into poetry/stories which are then typed up and given back to the person. It is incredibly powerful work and in some way I hope it gives people a voice. A book of reflections by people affected by dementia called Two Different Shoes was published and funded by The Life Changes Trust.
  • I am involved in community development work, connecting care homes, churches, local resources, providing space for people to come together and share what they feel is missing in their community.