Alzheimer’s Society Research Network Member
What does your role involve:
Research Network Members help set the strategy priorities for the Alzheimer’s Society Research Program, we are available to help researchers design their research projects and are part of the funding decision process. Once projects are allocated funding, we help shape the design of projects using our lived experience and then in dissemination of the results. The Research Network also supports the implementation of research findings.
I have also been the SE Area coordinator for the Research Network for several years.
Tell us a little about yourself:
Following a degree in physics, I began my working life in the UK Space Industry as an engineer testing antennas for satellites. After 15 years in the industry eventually heading up the Test Equipment Services division, I left to fulfil a long time ambition to travel, backpacking round the world for almost three years. I then joined a Raleigh International expedition to Chile, leading a community project where my group helped on several small construction projects around our village and taught in the local school. Enjoying teaching and the opportunity to get to know local people and their cultures through living and working with them, I completed a TEFL qualification and worked in China, S Korea and a stint volunteering in India. I returned to the UK when I realised there were issues with Mum’s health. Her diagnosis of dementia led to my most recent career change; I became her carer, initially part time then full time as she needed more and more support. During this time I started volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society Research Network. Following Mum’s death I became involved with the local Dementia Friendly Communities pilot project in Hampshire. I was one of the founders of the Charity Dementia Friendly Hampshire which was set up to continue this Dementia Friendly work and I continue to run the charity. I also volunteer with Dementia Adventure, supporting holidays for people affected by dementia.
My interest in research has led me to becoming a Patient Research Ambassador for my local hospital, help increase understanding locally of research opportunities available at the hospital. I have also recently become a NIHR Reviewer.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
While I was a volunteer teacher in Ladakh in Northern India, I lived in a Buddhist Monastery for 2 weeks while they prepared my room in the local school.
Can we find you on Twitter?