Please see below for a list of confirmed speakers, to date, for the 2017 conference programme. We’ll be adding to this list over the coming weeks. You can search for names using the search box.

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There are currently 53 names in this directory
A/Prof. Colm Cunningham
CunninghamDirector, Dementia Centre, HammondCare Director of the Dementia Centre, HammondCare, Colm leads an Australian and International team of over 200 staff involved in research, education and consultancy as well as the translation of this knowledge into accessible publications and tools to improve practice. The centre’s priorities are building design, life engagement, models of care, understanding behaviour and end of life care. Colm is an international expert with over 30 years experience in older age care. A general and intellectual disability nurse and social worker, Colm was the deputy director at the UK Dementia Centre, University of Stirling and has written extensively and undertaken research on a wide range of issues about dementia including design, pain care, hospital care, night time care and intellectual disability. Colm leads the national dementia behaviour response services, Dementia Support Australia, with the aim of reconsidering what it means to have a ‘behaviour of concern’.

Andy Lowndes
Andy PhotoDeputy Chair and ‘The Music Detective’, Playlist for Life


The charity Playlist for Life, encourages families and other caregivers of people living with dementia to offer on an mp3 player device such as an iPod, a thoughtfully compiled and highly personal playlist of music that has been meaningful to them during their life. Andy Lowndes has been Deputy Chair of the charity Playlist for Life and was its Lead Trainer for the last three years. Until recently a lecturer / researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, Andy holds honorary positions as Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University and as a Cognitive Stimulation Therapist (CST) in NHS GG&C. He has worked in mental health care for the last 36 years, specialising in the last 17 years in the care of older people and people with dementia in all care settings. His particular interests are in the use of reminiscence and CST. Since retiring early from GCU Andy has adopted a new persona as “The Music Detective” where he travels around the UK supporting people with dementia and their families to develop Personal Playlists and raising awareness of the charity.

Anne Macdonald
Untitled-2 copyVice-Chair, Scottish Dementia Working Group, Alzheimer Scotland In 2014, Anne was diagnosed with Posterior Cortical Atrophy at the age of 55 after 4 years of visits to GPs and hospital.  Anne joined the Scottish Dementia Working Group in 2014 because she liked the business and campaigning nature of the group.  She was voted on committee in 2015 and then became a vice chair. Anne describes herself as a campaigner challenging stigma and the inappropriate language used by others who do not have dementia.   She is passionate about younger people's voices being heard in their own words and feels that too many people are speaking on behalf of people with dementia.  

Archie Noone
archieChairperson, Scottish Dementia Working Group, Alzheimer Scotland Archie was diagnosed 3 years ago at the age of 72.  He feels that it’s really important for people diagnosed with dementia to get professional advice as soon as possible to help them understand the full implications of the condition and develop coping strategies.  Archie joined SDWG in 2013 before becoming vice chair in 2015.  He was appointed as Chair in November 2016. “I have a fun, active and stimulating life at present and my work with the SDWG gives me great purpose and satisfaction. My attitude is: I have dementia...... but dementia has not got me”.

Barbara Sharp
barbaraPhD, BA Lit (Hons), PG Cert. Research Methods, RN (Adult), RN (Children), Lecturer/Practice Educator

Barbara is Policy and Research Advisor with Alzheimer Scotland. Prior to joining Alzheimer Scotland in 1990, she worked in the NHS for 18 years, specialising in the nursing care of older people, latterly as a joint nurse manager/clinical teacher with the NHS and University of Glasgow. Within Alzheimer Scotland, Barbara has held a wide variety of posts traversing practice, research and policy development. She currently works within Alzheimer Scotland’s public policy team and as a collaborative partner with the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at University of West of Scotland. She is part of the team delivering the Dementia Champions’ programme and works closely with the network of Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants in each health board. Barbara’s PhD research was an interpretive phenomenological analysis of stress as experienced by people with dementia.

Charlotte Swarbrick
Senior Technology Co-ordinator, Alzheimer Scotland

charlotte Having originally trained and qualified as a Diagnostic Radiographer, Charlotte went on to leave the NHS clinical world and pursue career advancement within the health and social care field. Working across private, voluntary and third sectors in a variety of roles over the past decade, Charlotte’s passion for training and workforce development emerged. In her current role as Senior Technology Co-ordinator with Alzheimer Scotland, she is funded by the TEC programme for the next two years to explore innovative ways to support people living with dementia and their carers, using technology. Her main work stream within this team is training and the development of a national workforce upskilling programme.

Email contact - cswarbrick@alzscot.org

Chris Lynch
chrisChris Lynch, Deputy Director Communications & Marketing, Alzheimer Scotland

Chris Lynch has over 20 years of communications, marketing and events experience working in the private, public and not for profit sectors.  He has run his own marketing and business development consultancy and has a passion for digital communications and digital transformation. At Alzheimer Scotland Chris manages the Communications, Marketing & Events team which includes the publication of the Charity’s magazine, information provision, digital and campaign marketing, social media, PR, design & print, membership and events.

Deena Heaney
Dementia Care Specialist, Barchester Healthcare

Deena is a Dementia care specialist working as part of Barchester Healthcare Dementia care support team. Deena has worked in various roles within the private sector over the past 30 years.

A Triple Care-Award Winner with a recognised teaching qualification, developing and delivering training packages, supporting staff teams in enhancing the well-being of residents living with Dementia.

Dr Fiona Maclean
Untitled-1 copySenior Lecturer, Queen Margaret University

I am an occupational therapist and I have worked with older people in a variety of practice contexts throughout my career. My doctoral research, framing occupational therapists’ knowledge and beliefs of alcohol misuse in physical health care settings, considered the role of education and how education influences professional knowledge and beliefs connected to alcohol misuse. Through my doctoral research and practice experience, I am interested in the importance of promoting meaningful occupation with older people to encourage and sustain healthy lives for longer. This interest has guided the collaborative work I undertake with Alzheimer Scotland, initiating and implementing a funded internship programme for occupational therapy students and recent graduates. Our internship projects embrace a commitment to, and are shaped by, the importance of person-centeredness, anchored and intertwined with meaningful occupation with people experiencing dementia.

Dr Gary Stevenson
oie_ZHo9roo2DR3LConsultant Psychiatrist, NHS Fife
I have been a Consultant Psychiatrist in NHS Fife since 2000, and the Lead Clinician for Older Adult Mental Health since 2010. I work also with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, and with the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland. I have an interest in Younger Adults with Dementia, and obtained funding to organise the Memory Service for Younger Adults in Fife, which is run in association with colleagues from Neurology, Psychology and Nursing.  For the past decade I have organised the Annual Scottish Conference on Younger Adults with Dementia. [gstevenson@nhs.net]

Dr Karen Watchman
KWatchmanSenior Lecturer in Ageing, Frailty and Dementia, Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling Karen has worked in the field of learning disabilities, ageing and dementia care for over twenty years in both practice and academic settings. She was a member of the National Advisory Group on Dementia and Equality in Scotland, and in 2016 hosted an international two-day meeting on learning disability and dementia in Glasgow leading to the development of a series of position statements and reports. Making research accessible has always been a core part of Karen’s work and she has co-written resources such as Supporting Derek and Jenny’s Diary with a new text Intellectual Disability and Dementia: A Guide for Families published in 2017. In her role at the University of Stirling, Karen is leading a three-year Alzheimer’s Society research project investigating non-pharmacological interventions with people who have a learning disability and dementia, she regularly delivers training and lectures on this topic in the UK and internationally.

Dr Margaret Brown
margaretSenior lecturer and Depute Director, Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, University of the West of Scotland. Margaret is a senior lecturer and researcher at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). She has many years of experience both in practice and education in the field of dementia and mental health care for older people. Her current research includes simulated learning and compassion and her PhD study is about quality of life for the person with severe dementia. She is a member of the team delivering the Dementia Champions Programme throughout Scotland. She develops and delivers bespoke learning programmes and is responsible for integrating Scotland’s dementia strategy into the learning programmes at UWS. Margaret was honoured to receive a lifetime achievement award at Scotland’s Dementia Awards in 2016.

Dr Marie Prince
marieConsultant Clinical Psychologist, Young Onset Dementia Service, NHS GG&C

Dr Marie Prince is the Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Lead for the Young Onset Dementia (YOD) Service across Glasgow & Clyde.  Since completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology  at the University of Hull, Marie has worked in the NHS within Older People’s mental health services, clinical health psychology and neuropsychology. Marie is currently working to establish efficient and equitable care pathways for people with YOD in Glasgow & Clyde. Raising awareness of YOD and neuropsychological assessment amongst health professionals is a priority for the YOD Service across Glasgow & Clyde. In addition Marie is keen to work with partners to ensure that evidence based psychological interventions are available for people with YOD and their families.

Duncan Ross
rossMember, NDCAN

Duncan Ross is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow.  His father was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, and Duncan spent a number of years managing care and dealing with various care providers.  He is an enthusiastic advocate of Self Directed Support, though his father entered a care home in January 2016.

Elaine Hunter
National Alzheimer Scotland Allied Health Professional Consultant, Alzheimer Scotland

Elaine is an occupational therapy graduate of St. Johns University, York, and has completed further academic study at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Elaine has extensive clinical experience in mental health and dementia and has been responsible for the clinical, strategic and managerial leadership of allied health professionals (AHP’) in a health board in Scotland. Elaine was previously seconded to Scottish Government, developing a policy for AHP’s in mental health called “Realising Potential”.

Elaine now works at Alzheimer Scotland in a strategic AHP leadership role in partnership with Scottish Government and Alzheimer Scotland. Elaine collaborates with clinician’s, individuals and organisations to increase an awareness of who allied health professionals are and how they CAN support people living with dementia to live positive and independent lives. Elaine leads on the AHP dementia policy called “Connecting people, connecting support. The allied health professional offer to people living with dementia in Scotland.”

Fiona Corner
DSCN7114Project Manager – Dementia Dog Project, Alzheimer Scotland

I have 15 years fundraising experience working in the areas of nature conservation, disability and assistance dogs.  Previous to taking up this role, I spent a few years in Sydney working for Assistance Dogs Australia who took the Dementia Dog concept ‘down under’ to successfully pilot throughout the country.  We continue to closely collaborate to share international learning as this next phase of the project launches in Scotland.

Geoff Huggins
Geoff Huggins Lower ResGeoff Huggins is Director for Health and Social Care Integration at the Scottish Government. His priority for 2015/16 is the successful implementation of health and social care integration, with a focus on improving the outcomes and quality of life for people.  He also has responsibility for dementia and has advised the World Dementia Council and spoken at the Alzheimer Europe Conference and G7 Dementia Summit in Tokyo.  He was previously Head of Mental Health at the Scottish Government and prior to that worked on housing and education policy in Scotland and on politics and security with the Northern Ireland Office.

Gillian Anderson
FullSizeRenderSenior Technology Co-ordinator, Alzheimer Scotland Gillian has worked in a variety of management and development roles with social enterprises over the last 15 years, and has always had a keen interest in the practical applications of technology to support people, particularly those who find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. Currently undertaking a BSc in Computing with the OU to further her skills, she joined the Technology Team at Alzheimer Scotland in October 2016 and is developing partnerships with innovators and encouraging them to become signatories to the Technology Charter to ensure that people living with dementia have access to the newest developments in the field to enable them to retain their independence and continue to live full and meaningful lives. Alongside this her Schnoodle, Skye, is training with Poppy and Albert to become an intervention dog.

Helen Rochford Brennan
brennanHelen Rochford-Brennan is from Tubbercurry in County Sligo, Ireland. Helen spent many years working in the tourism and disability sectors and has also devoted tireless years to community activism, working at board level in several organisations. In July 2012, Helen was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. She is Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group, which is resourced by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Helen has used her time with the Irish Dementia Working Group to raise awareness of dementia and raise the profile of human rights for people with dementia.

Helen joined the EWGPWD in October 2014, nominated by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and served as Vice-Chairperson until 2016.

Henry Simmons
Henry Simmons - PhotoChief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland Henry Simmons joined Alzheimer Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2008, prior to this he worked as an Executive Director with ENABLE Scotland. He is a registered Social Worker, Registered Mental Nurse and has an MBA.

Henry has over twenty years’ experience in the health and social care sector and has spent the majority of his career in the voluntary sector, primarily involved in developing new community-based person-centred services.

Henry has worked in both the learning disability and mental health fields. He was a Board Member of Alzheimer Europe for several years and is a General Member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland. He is also chair of the NHS NES/SSSC Dementia Programme Board and currently a member of the Fair Work Convention.

Recently, Henry has been fortunate to be awarded Honorary Doctorates from both Queen Margaret University and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Iva Holmerová
oie_dKK776UUi9soAlzheimer Europe chairperson, consultant geriatrician Medical and Organisational Positions: 1981 -  physician. Since 1992, founding Director and Consultant Geriatrician, Centre of Gerontology Praha 8. Academic positions: Lecturer and since 2009 Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague. Since 2010 founding head of CELLO UK FHS (Centre of Expertise in Longevity and Long-term Care). Since 2012 Vice-Dean for International Relations, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague. Since 2012 head of the Department of Post-acute Care, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education. Since 2014 Visiting Professor, Dementia Practice and Policy Centre, University of the West of Scotland, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery. Public and scientific activities: National: since 1997 founding member of the board and Chairperson (2003-2014) of the Czech Alzheimer Society, since 2005 member of the Government Committee on Ageing. 2007–2011 and since 2015 President of the Czech Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics. The main convener and supervisor of the Prague Days of Gerontology (since 1996). Member of the Scientific committee of the Hradec Geriatric Conference (since 2002). International: since 2008 Board member of Alzheimer Europe since 2010 Vice-chairperson and since 2016 chairperson of Alzheimer Europe. Since 2008 president of the International Longevity Centre Czech Republic member of the ILC Global Alliance. Since 2012 board member of the international scientific network INTERDEM (Psychosocial interventions in dementia).  

Jean Georges
Executive Director, Alzheimer Europe

Jean 2Before joining Alzheimer Europe as its first Executive Director in 1996, Jean Georges worked as a journalist for the European and International department of the Luxembourg newspaper “Tageblatt” and as a parliamentary assistant for Members of the Luxembourg and European Parliament.

As Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe, Jean was in charge of the various projects of the organisation including the three-year European Commission financed “European Collaboration on Dementia – EuroCoDe” (2006—2008) project which brought together over 30 dementia experts from 20 European countries. He also represents the organisation in IMI, Horizon2020 and FP7 projects, such as PredictND, EPAD or EMIF.

He has been liaising with various other European organisations and held a number of elected positions, such as Secretary General of the European Federation of Neurological Associations (2002-2004) or Vice-Chairperson of the European Patients’ Forum (2007-2008). In 2005, he was appointed by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament as one of two patient representatives to the Management Board of the European Medicines Agency (2005-2008).

Jeni Lennox
jenniInnovation designer Jeni is an experienced product and service designer who was instrumental in the development of both Dementia Dog and Dementia Circle projects for Alzheimer Scotland.  With a keen interest in finding practical solutions to the daily challenges Dementia creates, she believes that making better things can make things better. With a portfolio of product development that ranges from shoes to lawnmowers, taking in cups and banknotes on the way, she brings a range of material and production knowledge to bear when helping identify  products that fight the impact of living with Dementia. She believes that good design for dementia makes better products for all of us.  Finding a way to deliver on this message is her biggest challenge to date.  

Jennifer Hall
jenTraining Officer, Alzheimer Scotland      

Jenn is a core member of the Quality & Workforce Development team at Alzheimer Scotland. With over 15 years’ experience of working in social care, Jenn now plays a fundamental part in the design & delivery of Alzheimer Scotlands learning and development programmes. Jenn is committed to promoting the human rights of people living with dementia and their carer’s and has a particular interest in what is still a taboo topic; Sexuality & Dementia. Having just recently started an MSc in Citizenship & Human Rights at Glasgow Caledonian University, Jenn hopes to focus her studies around this area.  

John Starr
johnDirector, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh

John Starr studied in Cambridge and London before taking up a clinical research fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh. After a spell at the Hammersmith Hospital, London, he returned to Edinburgh and is now hoary Professor of Health & Ageing and a consultant running three memory clinics per week. He has a special interest in adults with Intellectual Disabilities who have dementia. He established and continues to lead the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers on a broad range of areas related to dementia and cognitive impairment. He has been a Trustee and Board member of Alzheimer Scotland for over ten years.

Joyce Gray
Deputy Director Development, Alzheimer Scotland

FullSizeRenderJoyce joined Alzheimer Scotland in January 2010 as Deputy Director of Development and leads on major projects that have attracted international interest e.g. Dementia Dog. Joyce has a BA in Business and Enterprise and IPD Diploma in Training Management, in addition to over 30 years’ experience in the health and social care sector.

She started her career as a Psychiatric Nurse, but had the opportunity to join the voluntary sector in the early nineties and has since worked with young people excluded from main stream education, managed Carers Centres where she developed one of the first young carers services in the Scotland. Also before joining Alzheimer Scotland she worked on developing new and innovative services for people with learning disabilities.

In her current role she drives the design innovation programme at Alzheimer Scotland pioneering the use of creativity to help build collaborative user driven service innovation.

Julie Miller
Associate Improvement Advisor, Focus on Dementia, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

julie millerI have worked for Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) for the past 2 years initially as an inspector with the Older People in Acute Hospitals team and then with Independent Healthcare leading hospice inspections. I moved into the improvement hub's Focus on Dementia team in July 2016 and have a specific remit for supporting improvements in post-diagnostic support. I am a registered general nurse and, having previously worked for Alzheimer Scotland for many years in service management and practice development, have specific expertise in dementia and quality improvement. I have an MSc in Citizenship and Human Rights and am currently on the Scottish Improvement Leader programme.

Karen Lau

I have been caring for my partner since his diagnosis 2 years ago. It has been a life changing experience which is both challenging and rewarding. Previously an Office Manager, I now endeavour to make our lives as fulfilling as possible.

Kerry Gough
DOptimized-Kerry imageementia Dog Instructor, Alzheimer Scotland

Having spent many years working with people with both physical and learning disabilities, I have been working as a Children’s Instructor at Dogs for Good over the past 3 years.  This involved training and matching assistance dogs to families with children with physical disabilities to create life changing partnerships.

In my role as Dementia Dog Instructor I will be training and placing assistance dogs with service users who are living with dementia and provide ongoing aftercare support for them.

Linda Kerr
lindaDay Care Organiser, Alzheimer Scotland

I am currently a Day Care Organiser for Sensory Day Care. I deliver a sensory programme for people in the later stages of Dementia that no longer benefit from traditional day care services. I was part of the development team that researched and created this programme, which is now going into its fourth year. I have worked for Alzheimer Scotland for the last fifteen years and I feel honoured to be able to deliver this programme and enhance the wellbeing of all who attend.

Maggie Muir
oie_3Z5WuAJPmwyxCarer Maggie Muir cared for her partner, Glyn, who had a diagnosis of dementia. She lives on the Isle of Skye. She became involved in Alzheimer Scotland's National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) in 2015 when she was in a position to dedicate time, as Glyn had required full time residential care to meet his needs. Due to lack of resources in the Highlands the available option was a home in Glasgow. Despite working full time for 41 years in statutory services and having a working knowledge of diverse services and an Honours Degree in Social Policy, navigating the systems and structures of the various support mechanisms in the ongoing dementia journey was and is a continuous challenge. She is passionate about improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers and utilising her skills and knowledge to inform and influence future services by sharing carer lived experiences.

Martha Clare Morris
Professor, Rush University Morris_SEG1515Dr. Martha Clare Morris is Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University in Chicago. A graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health, she has over 20 years of experience studying risk factors in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.  Dr. Morris has published findings on the relations of diet patterns, antioxidant nutrients, dietary fats, and the B-vitamins to these conditions and is the lead creator of the MIND diet.  She has a long history of NIH funding to examine dietary risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease among 10,000 African American and Caucasian participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project and the relations of diet and metals to brain neuropathology and neurologic diseases among 1,200 Chicago participants of the Memory and Aging Project.   She is also the Principal Investigator of a multi-center randomized trial of the MIND diet to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Maruska Greenwood
Maruska Greenwood (2016)Chief Executive, LGBT Health and Wellbeing

Maruska Greenwood has been the CEO of LGBT Health and Wellbeing since 2008. The organisation runs a wide range of projects and services that promote the health, wellbeing and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland.

The organisation runs LGBT Age, a unique project that supports older LGBT people (over 50). The project also works with mainstream organisations to increase awareness of the particular issues faced by older LGBT people to enable services to become more accessible and responsive to those needs.

Prior to this role Maruska worked with a number of health and wellbeing focused voluntary sector organisations, including Alzheimer Scotland and the ‘see me’ mental health anti-stigma campaign. As a community activist she has over the years been involved in a range of LGBT and women’s groups and organisations.

Maureen Huggins
oie_L8nIqzUzUzYM (1)National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) My background is in scientific research and medical writing. When my mother developed mixed dementia in her 80s our family, particularly my father, supported her as she gradually found it more difficult to do everyday things. When she fell and broke her leg none of us were prepared for the rapid deterioration in her mental health. After she died, just under a year later, I wanted to see a change in some of the situations that we had encountered. Since joining the National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) I have been given opportunities to witness work being done to try and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers, and to contribute to that work myself.  

Maureen Watt
wattShe was born in Aberdeen and is from a farming background. She studied both at the University of Strathclyde and at the University of Birmingham. Maureen was a secondary school teacher in Social Studies in England before moving back to Scotland to work in the oil sector.

She entered the Scottish Parliament in April 2006 as a regional MSP for North East Scotland and was the first MSP to take the oath in Doric as well as English. She served as Minister for Schools and Skills in the first ever SNP Government between 2007 and 2009 and as convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs and Environment Committee between 2009 and the elections in 2011. She was appointed as Minister for Public Health in November 2014.

Melissa Haddow
Coie_gtLb9pZYHyffo-Founder, Little Art School Trust (SCIO)
The Little Art School Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity established in September 2015.  It was by acknowledging that art can make a big difference in people’s lives that we decided to look at ways we could deliver structured art classes for people living with dementia.  We have classes in our art studios and also take our Art In A Suitcase project into care homes and other community settings. Winners of Alzheimer Scotland’s ‘Best Innovation in Continuing Care 2016’ our focus is delivering classes which empower participants, engage their cognitive functions and reinforce sequencing; as well as the enjoyment/mindfulness which comes with drawing and painting.  St Andrew’s University are completing their research on our structured classes and findings disseminated Spring/Summer 2017.  We are passionate about working in our community and integrating with public, private and 3rd Sector to ensure that those participating in our projects have access to dementia resources.  

Michael Tornow
Michael HeadshotSenior Health Improvement Officer-Public Service Reform, NHS Health Scotland

Michael is a Senior Health Improvement Officer at NHS Health Scotland which is a national NHS Board that aims to reduce health inequalities.   Before that Michael worked for NHS Health Scotland as Health Improvement Officer, supporting the NHS and others to promote physical activity.  Michael previously worked for NHS Health Scotland’s Equality Team, and before that he worked for the Disability Rights Commission and Glasgow Housing Association.

Michael has a BA Honours in Sociology from Stirling University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Housing, also from Stirling.  He has a Masters Degree in Equality and Human Rights from Glasgow University.

Michael is a Trustee of the charity, Partners in Advocacy, and he is currently a member of the National Institute for Health Care Excellence’s Public Health Advisory Committee, which is updating good practice guidelines on making people more physically active.

Michael White
Memories Projects Manager, Alzheimer Scotland

imageMichael has managed the various Memories Projects since 2011 for Alzheimer Scotland. He pioneered the Football Memories project which has now been replicated with Rugby, Shinty, Golf, Cricket, Speedway and Athletics. There is a non-sporting project for Cinema. His initial career was in Education and he has been involved in voluntary work since 2000, initially with a housing association for older people, and then with the Children’s’ Panel and Alzheimer Scotland.

Michelle Miller
Team Lead: Focus on Dementia, Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Michelle’s interest in dementia started as a teenager when her grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. Michelle now combines her passion for improving dementia care and support with her day job. As Team Lead for Focus on Dementia, Michelle builds on her own family experience of dementia and her professional experience of leading improvement programmes, together with her academic qualifications (MBA graduate, currently undertaking MSc in Dementia at Stirling University and qualified Improvement Advisor through Institute of Healthcare Improvement, USA). In 2015, Michelle was awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship and travelled to Japan and USA to learn more about how these countries are supporting people with dementia to live well in their own homes and stay part of their communities. Since returning from her travels she has shared her learning nationally and locally and on a voluntary capacity, is supporting Prestwick to become a Dementia Friendly Community.

Muriel Reid
Untitled-1 copyCommittee Member (National Dementia Carers Action Network ) and Deputy Charge Nurse (NHS Lothian) Muriel’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Vascular Dementia in 2008.  In 2015 her parents moved in next door and it was then her interest in Dementia became a passion. She is an active Committee Member of the National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN). Her involvement has given her an interest in campaigning for high quality Post Diagnostic Support and recognition of the importance of Carer Resilience. Muriel is also a Deputy Charge Nurse in Edinburgh, with 22 years nursing experience. Her desire to improve the journey through acute care for people with dementia/carers has led to her undertaking the Dementia Champions Programme. As her mother’s dementia advanced her passion for “Dying Well” and Anticipatory Care Planning became her focus which led to a special experience for her and her family when her mother died peacefully, at home, in July 2016.

Nicola Cooper
Nicola CooperSenior Technology Coordinator, Alzheimer Scotland Nicola Cooper is part of Alzheimer Scotland’s Technology Team who have been funded by the Scottish Government to build a knowledge base around Technology available for people living with a diagnosis of dementia and to create pathways supporting accessibility. Nicola’s focus is on services and product innovations that support plwd to get out an about and in their everyday living. She is currently working on Purple Alert, an app that enables the community to help when a person with dementia is missing and on GPS safer walking technology. For the past 4 years Nicola has been working on the Dementia Circle project that finds, tests and shares useful ideas and daily living products with the dementia community. Dementia Circle has PODS (products on display) in Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centres and Health and Social Care Partnerships Demo Rooms across Scotland.

Peter Morgan-Jones
c621b1efa15be72058b15b0bd16edd26Peter Morgan-Jones has cooked for the British Royal Family, alongside some of Australia's best-known chefs and top restaurants  and is now HammondCare's Executive Chef and Food Ambassador. Peter began work with HammondCare in 2012, after five years as Head Chef at the Art Gallery of NSW. Other culinary highlights include working in top restaurants in Bermuda, Germany and London as well as some of Sydney's most iconic restaurants.

Now Peter has embraced the opportunity to bring to the aged care sector his vast restaurant experience along with his love of ‘unadulterated’ food where ‘the flavours do the talking’ through fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce and innovation in modified meals.

Yoghurt you can eat with your hands? Pureed foods that can be picked up with your fingers? These are some of the breakthrough recipes Peter Morgan-Jones has developed to support older people and people with dementia who are no longer comfortable with cutlery or who have swallowing difficulties.

In his session, Peter Morgan-Jones will describe how foods that can be eaten by hand, including for modified diets, along with smaller portions eaten more regularly throughout the day, are keys to maintaining the joy of eating for vulnerable people who too often miss out. Peter has hands on knowledge about food engagement for a person living with dementia.

Peter Morgan-Jones is an author of two bestselling cookbooks, don’t give me eggs that bounce. His new book is it’s all about the food not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful. Both books are written for carers as a support tool for mealtimes for a person living with dementia.  

Poppy & Albert
Dementia Dog Ambassadors (‘cos we’re much cuter than Labradors), Alzheimer Scotland

dogsWe have been involved with the Dog Day programme in Kilmarnock for 18 months and have also made people go ‘awww’ in other parts of the country too.  We hope one day to be Intervention Dogs or even Facility Dogs and we’re training really hard to be as clever as possible.  We have a finely honed double act, with Albert very much the Morecambe to Poppy’s Wise.

Prof Craig Ritchie
Director of Centre for Dementia Prevention, University of Edinburgh

Prof Ritchie is the Director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention at the University of Edinburgh. He has developed expertise over 20 years in clinical trials of new treatments for dementia as well as improving the understanding of disease processes in the years before the onset of dementia. This expertise has culminated in his leadership of the PREVENT Dementia Program which will recruit 700 people across the UK aged between 40 and 59 and follow them up closely using detailed clinical and biological assessments. Coupled to this he also leads the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD) Project which is the largest study ever launched globally to develop a much clearer understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease in the preclinical phase of this condition. It does so to inform the embedded clinical trial of numerous interventions for the secondary prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia. He also leads on the Prevention Workstream of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium.

Professor Jan Dewing
janProfessor Jan Dewing has an international reputation for expertise in person-centred care, practice development and gerontological practice including care of people living with dementia. She took up her new position as The Sue Pembrey Chair in Nursing in April 2015 and is also director for the Centre for Person-centred Practice at QMU. Jan is the academic editor for The International Practice Development Journal, a free to publish and access e journal and on the editorial board of several journals including  The International Journal of Older People Nursing. Jan contributes to post graduate education and research and supervises a number of international doctoral students.  She also holds a professorship at the Centre for Care Research Bergen University College and Stord-Haugesund University College Norway and at The School of Nursing, Wollongong University, NSW Australia.

As well as a significant clinical practice and leadership record including being listed as one of nursing’s inspirational leaders by the Nursing Times, Professor Dewing has held a variety of other joint practice and education and research posts in universities in the UK and with The Royal College of Nursing. She continues to work in practice and volunteering roles.

Richard Leckerman
Dementia Advisor, Alzheimer Scotland

I have worked in the mental health profession for over 30 years, within a variety of roles since qualifying as a mental health nurse in 1986. I graduated in 1998 B.Sc Health Studies, and was undertaking my masters qualification when my own mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, at the time of my Father’s death. In 2011 my work was recognised when I received national “Unsung Hero” award. I am presently employed by Alzheimer Scotland where I work as a Dementia Advisor. Area of interest being “sexuality in the elderly” and within the organisation we are actively developing a training toolkit for staff, taking this forward with people living with dementia. In 2017 the abstract was accepted “Lets Talk about Sexuality” was successful for the Alzheimers International conference in Kyoto. In 2015 “Scottish Health Awards” the Dementia Advisor team won the category “Integrated Care for Older People.”

Robbie Norval
Founding Director, Lingo Flamingo

Robbie is a teacher and a befriender and founded the social enterprise Lingo Flamingo around 18 months ago. Lingo Flamingo provide language lessons to older adults in communities and care homes on an outreach basis, tailoring their courses to consider the needs of older adults.  Our reasons for teaching foreign languages to older adults are twofold, firstly it provides them with an interactive and exciting group activity to undertake where they learn a new language, explore a different culture and have a lot of fun doing so. Secondly, we are using language learning as a platform to stimulate the brain- as there is some very interesting research which shows that speaking a second language can delay the effects of dementia as well as aiding with stroke recovery. For anyone who is interested to  know more then please get in touch with Robbie “Flamingo” Norval at info@lingoflamingo.co.uk.

Ross Hunter
Untitled-3 copyDirector, Graven Graven Director, Ross Hunter is an architect and one of the founding Directors of Graven with over 30 years’ experience designing interior and exterior spaces. After studying at the Mackintosh School of Architecture and training with ECB in Los Angeles and Elder & Cannon in Glasgow, Ross established Graven with co-director Janice Kirkpatrick. Ross has delivered ambitious and successful design solutions including award-winning environments and social spaces for Hotels & Leisure, Corporate, Banking & Finance, Food & Beverage, Care and Education sectors in the UK and abroad.

Sandra Shafii
Consultant, Working with Alzheimer Scotland to take forward Scotland’s TEC Programme

sandraSandra is a registered Occupational Therapist and after retiring from the NHS as a national Allied Health Professions Dementia Consultant in September 2015 has been working with Alzheimer Scotland to raise public and professional awareness of how everyday technologies as well as telecare and telehealth can make a difference to the quality of life of those living with dementia in Scotland.

She supported the development of The Technology Charter for People Living with Dementia in Scotland (launched 9th December 2015) and has been working to embed the principles and values of the Charter in practice and encourage everyone involved in dementia care to consider the potential of technological solutions at every stage of the dementia journey.

Susan Webb
susanTrust Development Coordinator, Little Art School Trust (SCIO)
The Little Art School Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity established in September 2015.  It was by acknowledging that art can make a big difference in people’s lives that we decided to look at ways we could deliver structured art classes for people living with dementia.  We have classes in our art studios and also take our Art In A Suitcase project into care homes and other community settings. Winners of Alzheimer Scotland’s ‘Best Innovation in Continuing Care 2016’ our focus is delivering classes which empower participants, engage their cognitive functions and reinforce sequencing; as well as the enjoyment/mindfulness which comes with drawing and painting.  St Andrew’s University are completing their research on our structured classes and findings disseminated Spring/Summer 2017.  We are passionate about working in our community and integrating with public, private and 3rd Sector to ensure that those participating in our projects have access to dementia resources.

Suzie Woodliff
oie_yf425j2fouaP   Art Teacher, Little Art School Trust (SCIO)
The Little Art School Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity established in September 2015.  It was by acknowledging that art can make a big difference in people’s lives that we decided to look at ways we could deliver structured art classes for people living with dementia.  We have classes in our art studios and also take our Art In A Suitcase project into care homes and other community settings. Winners of Alzheimer Scotland’s ‘Best Innovation in Continuing Care 2016’ our focus is delivering classes which empower participants, engage their cognitive functions and reinforce sequencing; as well as the enjoyment/mindfulness which comes with drawing and painting.  St Andrew’s University are completing their research on our structured classes and findings disseminated Spring/Summer 2017.  We are passionate about working in our community and integrating with public, private and 3rd Sector to ensure that those participating in our projects have access to dementia resources.

Tommy Petillo
oie_tZvUcoQ4B4H7Dementia Circle website manager, Alzheimer Scotland
Tommy Petillo is part of Alzheimer Scotland’s Technology Team and is currently managing the Dementia Circle website. Dementia Circle finds useful products which enable people with a diagnosis of dementia to live more independently for longer. The products are tested by people living with dementia and their feedback is shared online, to allow the community to make an informed choice before purchasing a product. The Dementia Circle website is slowly becoming a platform where the community can share their stories, the Technology Team can deliver training material and the community of professionals can access useful information about products for people living with dementia. Tommy is also working on Purple Alert, a missing person’s mobile app. Purple Alert enables communities to help when a person is missing and will be launched in Summer 2017.


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Professor Tolson joined the University of the West of Scotland in 2013 as the inaugural Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice and Alzheimer Scotland Professor of Dementia. The Centre team at UWS lead the national workforce development Dementia Champions Programme, developed the award winning Class in the Bag dementia training resource and led award winning interdisciplinary Grace Notes song writing project. Research interests include advanced dementia (Pallaire) and end stage dementia, non-pharmacological interventions such as football reminiscence, individualised sensory interventions, creative arts and early onset dementia experiences in employment.

Debbie is a nurse leader with an international reputation for advancing evidence informed interdisciplinary care with older people and people with dementia. She was the UK representative on the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)-World Health Organisation Global Taskforce for Nursing Homes (2010-2014). In 2010 she was awarded the Jim Flood Memorial Alzheimer Disease Distinguished Lectureship St Louis University (USA) Medical School. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing UK, and an Honorary Fellow of the Queens Nursing Institute: Scotland. In 2016 she was awarded Principal Fellow Status for strategic impact in higher education.