Ronald Ferguson was born and brought up in north-west London, but now lives in Luton. He had a stroke in 2013 and in 2015 was diagnosed with vascular dementia. He has had several careers, including as a music producer.
During the lockdown, Ronald took part in some Zoom sessions. During one of these sessions, Ronald suggested an idea that he had been trying to get off the ground for some time.
He wanted people to write four lines on dementia. It could be poetry. It could be prose. And he wanted to see how far it could go.
Ronald says, “I want to give people a chance to be free with their feelings. It is a chance to say anything you want, and not have to justify it or qualify it. It is a chance to increase the conversation and understanding of dementia. You can describe the writing as expressive or creative – it doesn’t matter. The key thing is that it is meaningful.”
Dementia Voice allowed their email address to be a repository of people’s response to this. No-one had any real idea of what would happen.
But something remarkable happened.
It struck a chord.
People began to send in their submissions. At first a handful. Then dozens. It became called “Talk Dementia” and was moved to twitter, where you can find it here.
Now there are hundreds of entries.
Ronald says, “It is growing like a tree. It has sprung all of these branches. It has meant so much to me because it gives me relevance. People are communicating like I have a meaningful role to play.
“Alzheimer’s Society has been gigantic for me. They have been amazing. Their support has meant that there is something really powerful.
“I feel grateful and excited that I can build on something. This will keep me active and relevant in life, in line with the world that I want to be in”.
Ronald now wants to see if this tool can become a workshop – or an album.