RIP Peter Ashley Dear Friend and Mentor

Yesterday I heard the very sad news, that my old friend and mentor Peter Ashley had passed away.

Peter was a loving father, husband mad friend to hundreds of people, and I was honoured to meet him, and call him a friend.

I knew Peter had been ill, but I guess that my attention had been on my continuous chest infection problems over the last few months, and then being diagnosed with COPD.

I first met Peter around 2005 after my diagnosis of Lewy body Dementia. I had been in the local Alzheimer's Society Office and the manager had spoken to me about an event which was being run in Newcastle upon Tyne.

This was the first UK Convention for people with Dementia. I confess that at first I thought it was going to be run for and by professionals, but was very surprised to see people like Peter, Trevor Jarvis and James McKillop on stage talking about living well with Dementia.

I confess that it was a shock to hear so many people with the illness standing up and talking about their lives and hobbies, but then this was my first dementia conference. 
From that day on I was hooked, and became a volunteer and campaigner with the Alzheimer's Society.

From then on I met Peter at many events including the Living with dementia working group, and got to know him very well.

Although Peter was a dedicated speaker and advocate for those with dementia, he did not take prisoners, when it came to professionals trying to speak down to those living with the illness.

How he managed to store and remember all of the information I will never know, because I always had problems fully understanding questions, before I could answer them, but he just carried on regardless.

Over the years I saw the different sides of Peter, and found that he had a very funny side which some people never saw. 

Like many people I will miss him quite a lot, and meetings and conferences  will never be the same without him.

My thoughts are with His wife Ann and his family


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