Bletherbox, the online forum for people who want to talk about dementia, was launch at Murray Royal Hospital, Perth on 27th August, 2012.
Representatives from NHS Tayside, Alzheimer Scotland, Scottish Dementia Working Group, Dementia Services Development Centre and the Scottish Dementia Clinical Research Network (SDCRN) attended the launch of BletherBox, the first online dementia forum dedicated to people with dementia and their families and carers living in Scotland. Well-known dementia awareness campaigner Tommy Whitelaw of Tommy-On-Tour also attended the launch.
BletherBox is the brainchild of Leigh-Ann Whyte, a Clinical Studies Officer with the SDCRN who is based at Ashludie Day Hospital. Leigh-Ann was inspired to create a resource for people affected by dementia after struggling to find any online support aimed at people in Scotland, where legislation and policies differ from in England and Wales. “I started to look seriously into support systems in the Dundee area after an encounter with a dementia sufferer which touched me very deeply,” said Leigh-Ann. “The loneliness expressed by this man, his fears, his lost life, his frustration and his openness with me which, although heartbreaking, was an obvious relief for him to be heard. “Support groups seem to be plentiful through different organisations and charities, however not everyone can attend groups so I searched for online support and found a platform called Talking Point through the Alzheimer’s Society. Though hugely successful with over 20,000 members, I noted that despite having many Scottish members, the advice being given related to English legislation and policies. It seemed an obvious gap that there was not something similar for people in Scotland and this is when I decided to develop BletherBox.”
BletherBox can be accessed at www.bletherbox.org.uk
Manager of SDCRN Emma Law said, “The SDCRN is delighted to support BletherBox in this important and exciting development which will provide a forum for people in Scotland to discuss issues around dementia with like-minded people.”
Tommy Whitelaw of Tommy-On-Tour added, “I believe that this new online forum will provide a much needed platform to speak honestly and openly, inspire, teach, learn from and promote good practice. BletherBox will give a voice to Scottish people to design and guide a better future for those affected by dementia in Scotland.”