The battles you know nothing about

Yesterday was one of those days that really made me think. I was  hugely moved by an individual seeking me out at a dinner to say thank you to me as Chair of the Health and Social Care Alliance. It was for an award they have received from The Alliance to take forward crucial work that they believe will make a significant difference to some of the most vulnerable in our society. Now there are many to thank before me but as someone who got the charity of the ground and enabled all the work that its now responsible for I was delighted to see her reaction. The great team at the Alliance and the Scottish Government ministers past and present and Health and Social care directorate are those who have made this a reality and as we approach self-management week I would like you all to stand and take a full knowledge the work you do changes lives.

And yesterday was a day to make me aware of the need for this for other reasons. I met with someone I hadn't seen for some time who told me of their recent illness, the impact it had made, the life changing decisions that needed to happen. And as we compared notes, the significance of serious illness in our lives was tangible. But we were also out there in the world, working on issues close to our hearts and making our own difference. Probably only ourselves knowing the cost of so many others. With our experience also giving us renewed passion for the work we do.

It was lived experience too that led to Cameron contacting me this week to ask me to help his family raise awareness of mesothelioma. Do read their blog and why its so important to them. The love and passion to make a difference shines though each word. So when I heard this I thought of them. A wee sound cloud clip from Karine Polwart- it will make your day.

Reasons to be grateful. Im off to Argyll soon, one of my favourite parts of Scotland. It will give me time with friends and exploring new territory too. How fortunate am I? And at last I got my hair cut-nothing dramatic just a much needed post-holiday tidy up. Nothing like a haircut to make you ready to take on life!


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