It’s always heartwarming when someone positively mentions your name in connection with work you’ve done to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. Few us actively want to be thanked or praised, but it’s uplifting when someone openly states that what you’ve done – and continue to do – makes a positive difference.

Earlier this month, Twitter had a flurry of activity as certain women, active in the field of dementia care improvement, were listed. Naturally, further names were added; so far, so good. Men were then included; also good. At that point, though, something changed.

A couple of people were upset that someone they knew hadn’t been listed – and that troubled me. Whilst it would be ideal to acknowledge everyone, I’d be very worried indeed if there was a clear, definitive list of all those working for a more dementia-friendly world; I’d much rather there were so many people involved that it was impossible to neatly list them all! Someone then suggested that dementia care awards were a bad thing. Really? Does anyone actually think that making an award for something or someone that’s helped people living with dementia somehow reduces the value of everything else that’s being achieved? Surely it underlines the value placed on all improvements in dementia care – doesn’t it?

Within the Butterfly Scheme, even in the last two days I’ve linked together small groups of Leads across the UK and Republic of Ireland who want to collaborate on two specific fields within dementia care. Some have already achieved great success in those fields, whilst others are just making a start, but nobody in those groups wants to outshine the others – they simply rejoice in being able to help someone else make things better, too.

Yesterday, I met with the scheme’s key link at Find Memory Care, who provide ready-made signage for the scheme. Something I really love about Karen is that she’d always choose not to sell a product, rather than sell something that doesn’t best fit the purpose, or supply it without ensuring it’s used in the optimal way; she’s simply passionate about getting dementia care right. Whilst working in a commercial company, her focus is firmly on the best interests of people living with dementia.

In my view, dementia care shouldn’t be competitive – or if there’s any competitiveness at all, it should be a collective one, all pushing as far as we can to make the world as dementia-friendly as possible. Making the world the best it can be for people living with dementia would be the very best prize of all, but I know the team working towards that goal is enormous – and I’m delighted it is!