The Life Changes Trust is an independent organisation established by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland in 2013. The Trust has two beneficiary groups: care experienced young people and people affected by dementia. By ‘people affected by dementia’ the Trust means people living with dementia and people who are the unpaid carers of those living with dementia.
In 2015-16 the Trust provided Life Changes Trust Awards for people living with dementia, carers and former carers to attend the Alzheimer Scotland Conference in Glasgow and the Alzheimer Europe Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Awards covered conference fees, accommodation and travel costs and were kindly administered by Alzheimer Scotland.
One of the Trust’s priorities is to empower people affected by dementia so that they can do the things that are important to them. People living with dementia and carers have said how important it is that they are at events and meetings which are about the lives they lead on a daily basis.
“It matters to me that my words are said by me, not someone who takes my words to run up the career ladder on the back of me…if people continue to think they can take our knowledge and speak on our behalf they will de-skill us. Too many people are running away with our words.” (Person living with dementia)
The Conference Bursaries Report 2015-16 shares the views of those who attended the conferences about their experiences of being included. It aims to support organisations to think about what they could do to include more people affected by dementia in the events they organise and how they might make them more accessible, financially and practically.