Welcome to my blog! This week I found the answer to a problem that’s been bugging me for quite a while…
The week has been dominated by more investor presentations. (Note to self: fundraising during August is quite tricky because so many people are on holiday). However, overall this round of fundraising has been a great experience during which we’ve met some fascinating people from both mainstream and social investment sector. It’s been really interesting to see how each of them could add value to the business in different ways. Now we just have to wait and see what happens and what offers we get. Other highlights include:
• A call with Alex from Alcuris, a technology healthcare start-up at Loughborough University. The company’s first product range is designed for people with dementia and it’s impressive. I’m happy to help them bring their products to the market. I went to Loughborough University myself so it’s good to support fellow students.
• A fascinating conversation with Phil Wells from the Dementia Action Alliance which is made up of organisations throughout England which are committed to transforming the lives of people with dementia. I know that Unforgettable needs to raise awareness of dementia products and Phil gave me some great inspiration, and a brilliant contact too, so thank you very much Phil.
• A two-hour meeting with Barbara Stephens the Chief Executive of another excellent organisation called Dementia Pathfinders. Barbara kindly came in to see me and, as the former Chief Executive of Dementia UK, I quickly realised she is extremely well connected. I was particularly interested to hear about a project she’s working on now called Dementia Conversations which provides an opportunity for carers, relatives and friends of people living with dementia to share experiences, gain knowledge, and explore issues that challenge beliefs and attitude.
After talking to Phil and Barbara I realised that they had both, in different ways and totally by co-incidence, given me the answer to a question that has been troubling me: how do we raise awareness of dementia products when so many people don’t even know they exist? Thanks to Phil and Barbara I may now have found a way forward! Watch this space…
• I’m still doing my voluntary work with the Alzheimer’s Society in which I visit a gentleman living at home with dementia. I visited Paul on Thursday, and he was very alert and started talking about his working life as a doctor. He was able to recall some of the medical procedures he performed in minute detail and we had a very enjoyable conversation, though he couldn’t quite remember who I was.
• I finished the week with a visit to Torbay to meet Norman McNamara and his wife Elaine. Norman is living with dementia (he was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of 50) and is passionate about raising awareness and dispelling myths. Norman is now a speaker and author who strives to educate people about dementia through his worldwide Purple Angel campaign. He’s also written a very well-received book, The Lewy Body Soldier, in which he shares his experiences, poems, pictures and thoughts about living with dementia. He is really passionate about demonstrating that life can still continue after a dementia diagnosis. We had a delightful couple of hours together at a hotel by the sea – a good way to end a busy week.
I did a presentation this week to a group of European colleagues in Belgium via Skype. The presentation went extremely well without a single technical hitch. I’ve always suspected that flying abroad for business meetings was a waste of time, and now I have proof that it is.