This week I’m talking about exciting news about our supporters, charity partners and feeling grateful towards our amazing customers.

Monday

I started the week meeting an extremely impressive creative agency called Antidote (they were responsible for the famous ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ tote bag which sold millions worldwide and the hugely successful book Change the World for a Fiver). Antidote will be working with us on creative media, exhibition stands, an advertising campaign and our catalogue. The team has significant personal experience of dementia and we’re very excited to be working together.

I also had a call from the Huffington Post to let me know journalist Deborah Gale will be writing an article about Unforgettable soon.

I finished the day with our monthly team social, which I thought was going to be rubbish since it involved playing board games in the office… But the drinks and snacks went down very well and it turned into a great evening.

Tuesday

Spent the morning working with Katie on our impact plan which we’re presenting to the board and the Unforgettable Foundation this month. This is our social enterprise budget; following the same principles as a financial budget. It will include the annual targets we’re setting ourselves to assess how much difference we’re making to people’s lives. It could include, for example, how many people visit the site, how engaged they are in the site, the ratings people give the products we sell, and ultimately whether customers might recommend us to other people.

I finished the day feeling extremely grateful for the kindness and generosity of so many people who want to support Unforgettable. A wonderful man called Tim Smart, the former chief executive of Kings College Hospital, came to meet me to offer his services voluntarily simply because he likes what we’re doing.

Wednesday

Started the day with an 8am meeting with Maurice Bennet, a very successful businessman who is supportive of Unforgettable and invited me to an event at the Houses of Parliament. Consequently, I had breakfast with many senior politicians, spreading the word about what we’re doing.

james parliament
A quick selfie outside the Houses of Parliament!

I then met with a big pharmaceutical company who believe they’re close to a breakthrough drug for dementia. We had a very interesting meeting in which they outlined a whole range of ways they could support Unforgettable. I’m now preparing a paper for the board and trustees to ask for their guidance and views about the pros and cons of working with them.

I spent the rest of the day looking through the first draft of the catalogue we’re about to release. We’re aiming to distribute 100,000 copies. Nothing like this exists yet and I know it’s going to be exceptional.

I also had two great phone calls from charities close to my heart. The first came from Carers UK who called to say they’re doing an article about us in this month’s magazine and we’ll be featured on the front cover. The second was from Dementia UK to say that, after discussions at board level and with their senior Admiral Nurse, they’d like to become one of our charity partners. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with them – I have huge respect for Admiral Nurses and the invaluable work they do.

This was one of my best days at work for a long time. No wonder I left the office feeling really excited!

Thought for the week

Our customer service team spent a lot of time this week getting feedback from customers. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has spent a few minutes talking to Andrew and Olivia, giving honest and considered opinions about products they’ve bought. This is so valuable to us because it’s the only way we can improve what we do and help other people in a similar situation.

PS If you’re caring for someone with dementia who used to drive – or still does – check out my latest blog here].