Director of Policy and Practice
Place of work / study:
What does your role involve:
I am responsible for Alzheimer Scotland’s public policy development and campaigning activities, working with all stakeholders in bringing about transformational change for people with dementia, and those who care for them, across Scotland. I’m also responsible for ensuring that Alzheimer Scotland’s national and local involvement networks provide meaningful opportunities for people with dementia and carers of people with dementia have an effective collective voice at a local, national and international level to influence and shape dementia policy, practice and research. In addition, I lead areas of Alzheimer Scotland’s engagement in dementia research. This includes the organisation’s investments in dementia research; building strategic partnerships; supporting participation in research; encouraging and facilitating collaboration and investment in Scottish dementia research. I’m also currently a board member and Honorary Secretary of Alzheimer Europe.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I have been with Alzheimer Scotland for 20 years this year. My background is in welfare rights which is where my interest in a human rights based approach and campaigning to influence policy and practice developed.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I have a problem – I keep buying bicycles. I like bicycles. I’m also a potter.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My Uncle John – who taught me everything I know about jazz music and crosswords – was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. My choosing to work in dementia research is a promise I made to him. He passed away in 2019, so he’s not here for me to tell him.
What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?
Never hide your passion. Whether it be networking in the hope of forming new collaborations, or just discussing your work with your family and friends.