Introducing our Events Management graduate AHP volunteer: A creative collaboration

Last week’s blog post marked the beginning of the Occupation Therapy internship 8 week takeover, during which we will be updating our progress on various projects we are collaborating on with the Scottish Dementia Working Group (@S_D_W_G), National Dementia Carers Action Network (@NDCAN_Scotland) and Alzheimer Scotland (@alzscot). Last week also marked the graduation of Occupational Therapy intern Nicole (on the right) and I (on the left) graduating from Queen Margaret University in two very different degrees, Occupational Therapy and Events Management. This week I will be introducing some of these projects that I am involved in to you and how I aim to bring my Events Management degree to our team of Occupational Therapists this summer!

Throughout my degree, I held a particular interest in social sustainability which would eventually bring me to Alzheimer Scotland as their first ever AHP volunteer, a position I am very proud of. Not only is it exciting to be part of a team with a diverse range of skills and knowledge from different fields, but even more so to bring this together in a series of projects we are running this summer.

Challenging stigma through occupation
The projects I am contributing towards have been adapted from last year’s fantastic group of interns’ work of PhotoVoice Project. This project is centred on Alzheimer Scotland’s Building Bridges Project and 3 out of 5 Strategic Objectives of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG):

  • Challenging the stigma and image of dementia;
  • Developing a strong, collective voice of diverse people with dementia across Scotland;
  • Use and explore new technology to support the SDWG’s work.

This year, our team is developing this project further, and we are so fortunate to be receiving so much enthusiasm from SDWG for participation in our hopes of collecting more photographs and narratives from people across all of Scotland living with dementia. These photographs and narratives, together becoming PhotoVoice, is where the knowledge and skills I developed at university will be utilised and built upon in the coming months.

AHP Volunteer Emily and OT Intern Nicole Meet with SDWG 2017

As you may guess, being an Events Management graduate, an event is one such project! With the SDWG’s and our hopes of challenging the image and stigma of dementia through occupation, I will be organising in partnership with Elaine @elaineahpmh & Fiona @MacleanFiona ideas on how to share and showcase the photographs and narratives of the PhotoVoice project as well as celebrating 5 years of Occupational Therapy internships at @alzscot and their collaboration with the SDWG. Our hopes are to give voice to people living with dementia all across Scotland, focusing on what is meaningful to them.

Sharing the narratives
One exciting outcome from all the work, we are looking to develop an ebook of the PhotoVoice project. Having learned how to use software such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, I wanted to approach the SDWG’s strategic goal of using and exploring new technology in a way that supports both the SDWG, but also allows the team of interns and I to learn how to use a relatively new piece of technology.

In the coming weeks, therefore, I will be exploring and using ebook technology BookWright, developed by Blurb, with Adobe InDesign, to learn how to create, edit, and publish what we hope to be an inspirational and informative ebook of members of the SDWG photographs and narratives to challenge the image and stigma of dementia.

Although this ebook will be available online to download, I will also be using skills I have learned through my own initiative to develop a website page where the Photovoice content will be available to view. Alongside this, we will be launching a social media campaign to challenge to stigma and the image of dementia through occupation using content from the PhotoVoice project.

Sharing our work on social media
In recent weeks, we have created a Facebook page for Allied Health Professionals which will be connected to our existing Instagram profile, the links for which can be found at the end of this post. With a new strategy designed to make the most out of these online platforms, I hope to bring some background in marketing from my degree to the team when creating content for these platforms.

Over the next 8 weeks, expect to see Instagram posts following daily themes. On Mondays, we will be covering some top tips to living well with dementia, Tuesdays will focus on wellbeing, on Wednesdays we will be promoting this blog, Thursdays will be a “did you know…”, and Friday will be a reflection for the week.

With our Facebook page, we will also be able to respond to comments and queries easier, and hopefully gather some new interest from people who may not use Twitter. This is just some of what you can expect to see developing over the next 8 weeks and onwards later in the year!

Keep connected
To keep up to date with what the Occupational Therapist interns and I are doing over these weeks on these exciting projects, subscribe to this blog and check out our Twitter feeds; our usernames can be found at the end of this post. We will also be using #OTInterns17 and #AHPVolunteer17, so please search for us and get in touch!
Author of this week’s blog is Emily at @mcnemilyjane

The rest of the team:
Beth : @b_crocks
Nicole : @nicolekane_ot
Lynsey : @lrflanniganot

Instagram @ahpdementia
Facebook AHP Dementia



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