Meet the Board
In this regular feature within our Newsletter, we will be introducing you to each member of our Board Members.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi I am Jim, I live in Edinburgh on a canal boat with Honey the Dog, working as a close-up magician. I've always wanted to live on a canal boat, so during lockdown, I decided to follow my dream and moved here in November 2020 - I absolutely love it!
But you don't sound like you are from Scotland?
I grew up in the south of England, on the outskirts of London. I moved up to Scotland to study at Dundee University and apart from a few years in the north-east of England, have been in Scotland for 30 years. Wow, I didn't realise it was so long - Scotland is certainly my home!
What's your background - have you always been a magician?
I certainly have performed magic since I was a child, but didn't become full-term until 2017. My background before that was in the mental health field, training and working as a mental health nurse, working in academia and education, before finally taking the plunge in 2007 to become self employed in mental health training, research, writing and practice. From my own personal experiences of mental health, I had a passion to bring some change in the mental health system, promoting that mental health recovery is possible.
How did you get involved in Deepness Dementia?
I am good friends with Ron and Karen who formed Deepness Dementia and have been working with them for 14 years. I admire their vision, drive and passion to create change, unlike me they don't hold back, instead just go for it. When Ron was diagnosed with cognitive impairments and possible dementia, I starting telling friends and their response was "Oh I am so sorry to hear that". It made me realise how much there is mis-understanding and stigma attached to people living with dementia. Ron would say his life is better than it has ever been! So when he started talking about Deepness Dementia and the vision, I just had to get involved!
This is the first time I have been a Board Director, so I am really liking it. I am one of the only few board members without living with dementia or cognitive impairment, so that's inspiring. I love being part of helping form a new organisation. We meet every month on Zoom, which is great to bring everyone together. I am looking forward to the conference in September to meet everyone in person.
I met up with Willy and Michael last week, who are also on the Board and also live in the Edinburgh area. Was lovely to actually connect with them in real life. Check out the photo, we had a fantastic lunch at a Japanese Restaurant - I can highly recommend.
What is your vision for Deepness Dementia for the future?
I think there needs to be education for everyone, that being diagnosed with dementia or cognitive impairment does not that mean your life will go downhill - there is so much stigma around this area. People living with dementia need to know that they can live well with dementia and family/friends need to know this too. A diagnose doesn't mean this is the end. Also, doctors, nurses and all practitioners need to know this - perhaps from training given by people living with dementia?
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Deepness Dementia Media specialises in assisting recovery by providing a platform to live life autonomously and happily. Contact us today to become a part of our community.