When My Grammy Forgets Featured in Newsletter 9


Irene Mackay’s Ninth Elliegrams Newsletter

Summer 2015






Welcome to my Elliegrams Newsletter, named after Ellie, the main character in my book The Forgetful Elephant.In this newsletter I share information and insights from around the world, to help us all cope better with living with dementia.


Here in the UK summer is here at last, although in some areas someone needs to let the weather know! The past few months have been a busy time for me as I have been promoting my Getting To Know You activity booklet, as well as my new Ellie Memory Helper Pack. Many local businesses have kindly sponsored my booklet and donated them to a children’s organisation of their choice, helping to raise children’s awareness of dementia in the community.

My new Ellie Memory Helper Pack is proving to be popular. Many nurseries and schools in my area, and in the Glasgow area, now have one. If you know of a school, PTA or children’s organisation which would like one, please let me know.

You can find out more about what I have been doing in Ellie’s News Update, and on my website www.irenemackay.com

I hope you all have a lovely summer,


You can find more about what I have been doing in Ellie’s News Update, and also on my website www.irenemackay.com



When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember

More about When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember HERE



My story The Forgetful Elephant is available on Amazon Kindle HERE, and in paperback through my WEBSITE It gently and respectfully explains dementia to young children, and suggests appropriate activities



Interview with Eric Andersen HERE





Ellie and her family had a special 2-day trip to Manchester in March to attend Dementia Havens’ Family Fun Day. They met the event organisers Tony and Joy Watson, and the Mayor of Eccles.

Even though the weather was terrible, there was a good turn-out to a fun-packed day, with lots of games for the children to play. The children all really enjoyed meeting Ellie. She was delighted that many of them took the opportunity to buy The Forgetful Elephant book and Ellie hand-puppets to take home and tell the story again, helping to spread awareness of practical steps for coping with dementia.

Ellie welcomes invitations to events where she can help raise awareness of dementia. Bookings can be arranged HERE





Our job is not to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. Our job is to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

L R Knost


Ellie Memory Helper Pack

My latest Ellie resource to help raise children’s awareness of dementia is my Ellie Memory Helper Pack (see photo above). Since it would be impossible for me to visit every nursery or school, I have developed a pack for the convenience of teachers and group leaders, to help children learn about dementia even if I’m not there. The Pack includes a copy of The Forgetful Elephant book; my Guidelines and practical tips on how to sensitively tell the story and answer questions; an adorable soft Ellie hand-puppet to encourage the children to engage with the story; an Ellie bookmark; and my Boost Your Brainpower leaflet to encourage healthier eating and reduce the risk of dementia. These are all packed in a lovely canvas drawstring bag, with an Ellie print.

The Pack is a foundation for further activities to familiarise children with the subject of dementia. It includes a straight-forward and respectful explanation of what dementia is, suggestions how to cope living with it, and steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Many of my local nurseries and schools have purchased it, and I have posted packs to some schools in the Glasgow area. I’m looking forward to sending them further afield. The Pack is now available for delivery world-wide on my website (https://www.irenemackay.com/ellie-resources/ellie-memory-helper/)
along with the Ellie ) Sleepover Packs ) and other Ellie Resources (https://www.irenemackay.com/ellie-resources/)
The Forgetful Elephant Book Translated
My book has now been translated into French by Sebastien Fages. I am in the process of having it proofread before publication. Sebastien already has some interest in the French book in his local area of France, which is wonderful.

Martina Kaut, who I met recently in Germany, is working on translating the book into German.

If you, or someone you know, can translate the book into other languages, please contact me.
Getting To Know You Activity Booklet

Over the last few months I have been promoting my new activity booklet, and I’m delighted to see how popular it is. The easy-to-complete format asking questions about key life memories encourages communication, is a great record for families, and can be helpful for caregivers. It’s not only popular with children, but also with adults – after all, we’re all children!

I had a lovely time completing one with my Dad, and learning more about his life. At the same time, he enjoyed answering the questions. Each one generated a great conversation.

Many local businesses have sponsored the booklet, kindly helping my campaign to raise children’s awareness of dementia in the community. The sponsors donate their copies to local nurseries, schools and other children’s organisations of their choice.
The activity booklet was published on UK Mother’s Day, 15 March 2015 and is available from my website through the link above.
Donation from Sales of The Forgetful Elephant Book
From sales of my The Forgetful Elephant book during the last quarter I have donated £150 to DEED in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Sabrina Lynch and her team there do a wonderful job raising awareness of dementia. They have been very supportive of my campaign to raise children’s awareness. DEED has kindly sponsored my activity booklet Getting To Know You.

I look forward to continuing to work with them, and Ellie and I hope to be able to visit them all again soon.

Forth Valley Open Studios
This Open Studios event is held annually at the beginning of June. This year I am pleased that one of the participants, Back2Back Studios, kindly offered to sell my The Forgetful Elephant and Getting to Know You books.

All profits from sales at this event are donated to Strathcarron Hospice.

Thank you Back2Back!

Forth Valley Royal Hospital
As part of the Dementia Awareness Week activities I was invited to exhibit in the Atrium of Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Friday 5 June 2015.

My colourful display featuring Ellie with information about our work attracted the attention of families and many children visiting the hospital. It was an opportunity to raise their awareness of dementia, and to share my experiences, especially for those visiting a loved one with dementia in the hospital.

Alzheimer Scotland Summer Fayre
This year I have a stall at Falkirk Services of Alzheimer Scotland’s Summer Fayre on Saturday 13 June 2015 at Trinity Church Hall, High Street, Falkirk.

Several years ago I worked as a Home Support Worker with this service. I am looking forward to spending the day meeting up with some of the people who used to be my colleagues, and updating them on my progress with my international campaign to raise children’s awareness of dementia.

Open Day, Newcarron Court Care Home

Once again I have been invited to Newcarron Court Care Home in Falkirk’s Open Day on Friday 19 June 2015.

As you may know, this is the Care Home where my Mum resided for three years. Whilst I am looking forward to the event, this year it will be tainted with sadness for me, as last year my Mum was sitting next to me at my display. I know she will be there in spirit, and in my heart as always, and that will get me through it.

A photo of us together on the Open Day there last year is below. My campaign to raise children’s awareness of dementia is in her memory, to help remove the stigma associated with dementia, and improve life for all families living with dementia.

Details of more events will appear HERE as they become available.




My cause Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia – Irene Mackay is now set up on easyfundraising.org.uk


Our first campaign is to raise £500 to publish the new activity booklet Getting To Know You It’s easy to donate funds for free – too good to miss! see the details below:
Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising a free donation for Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia – Irene Mackay? There are nearly 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury’s, who will donate a percentage of the amount you spend to Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia – Irene Mackay to say Thank You for shopping with them.
It’s really simple, and doesn’t cost you anything
3. GET SHOPPING – your donations will be collected by easyfundraising and automatically sent to Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia – Irene Mackay. It couldn’t be easier!
There are no catches or hidden charges and Raising Children’s Awareness of Dementia – Irene Mackay will be really grateful for your donations.
Thank You very much for your support. Irene and Ellie
Here are some of the retailers supporting easyfundraising:


I hope the free tips booklet you received when you subscribed to this newsletter was useful to you, or to someone you know who needs help and support, to help cope with living with dementia.Please share your ideas how we can work together to raise children’s awareness of dementia.

I welcome interview opportunities, guest blogs and any chance to promote my cause to more people.

I am offering sponsorship opportunities to help support my cause. My books and materials can also be used to raise money for your fundraising campaigns. Please contact me for more details: info@irenemackay.com.

I welcome all suggestions and ideas, to help improve quality of life for people with dementia, and their families.

Irene Mackay













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