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The Davida Fortinsky Award for Outstanding Dementia Student December 2013

Published: Fri 24 Jan 2014
The Davida Fortinsky Award for Outstanding Dementia Student December 2013

The Davida Fortinsky Award for Outstanding Dementia Studies Student was recently awarded to Caroline Inch, who has achieved a BSc in Dementia Studies with First Class Honours.

Davida Fortinsky was the mother of Richard Fortinsky, a Fulbright Scholar from the United States who spent five months in 2007 with the Bradford Dementia Group learning about how dementia care is organised in primary care and mental health trusts in England.  After a full and active life, Davida passed away in February 2007 from complications associated with advanced dementia. 

Davida instilled in her sons, Richard and James, and ultimately her three grandchildren, Kyle, Laura and Celia, a deep thirst for knowledge and love for learning from an early age.  She was an unwavering source of support and fully engaged in their lives.  Thanks primarily to her continuous positive messages about the value of higher education, all of her descendants have completed or are enrolled in university degree programmes.

The Davida Fortinsky Award for Outstanding Dementia Studies Student at the University of Bradford celebrates Davida’s life by carrying on the tradition of encouraging the pursuit of knowledge, in this case to help improve the quality of lives of people with dementia and their families, wherever in the world they may live.     

Commenting on the award, Caroline said:

‘I have worked with people with dementia for the past twenty years and find it the most rewarding job. As the number of people with dementia increases I thought it prudent to obtain a qualification in dementia, and consequentially the BSc in Dementia Studies has enabled me to enhance my knowledge and skills, to lead the staff team to provide excellent person-centred dementia care.

I believe that as a determined person, I tried not to allow any obstacles I encountered to have too much of an impact. During the four years of the course, I studied with some amazing people and we all benefited from mutual support. I also found the tutors were very understanding of my circumstances, which gave me the boost to manage my studies.

What’s special for me about this award is the ethos that Davida instilled in her family regarding learning and knowledge. I never had such encouragement whilst growing up, which is why I was determined to obtain my degree.  Davida’s example of encouraging knowledge and learning resonates with my own values which I will instil in my children.’

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