You recently announced you are leaving your role as Executive Lead, but what other jobs have you had in your career to date and how did they lead you to the NDAA?
I’ve worked in dementia since I was 19 and had a Sunday job whilst at University at a Jewish Care day centre. I worked for a local authority for 12 years having the responsibility of running a day centre, managing an outreach team, managing a BAME team supporting members of the South East Asian community and dementia projects as a whole. I was really keen to join the NDAA and work on the hospital Charter.
You have been working for the NDAA for 4.5 years. What has been your proudest moments?
There has been so much work done by such a small, dedicated team, I’m spoilt for choice! Last year’s annual conference was the most inclusive ever, being arranged with people living with dementia and carers and having the conference all about them. Also, seeing the way the Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter has developed to having over 93% of acute hospitals signed up has given me a real sense of pride. Now we have the posters for people living with dementia and carers to know what to expect when they go into hospital, which was worked on by tide and the LEAP group. This shows how far this work has come. I am also proud of the From Seldom Heard to Seen and Heard campaign and to be able to speak about this amazing work to an international audience at the ADI conference in Chicago, showing the world the impact the NDAA has.
Your successor has not been appointed yet, but what advice would you give to the next Executive Lead?
Meet with as many members as possible, utilise the Steering Group and take on board the immense knowledge the Secretariat have to offer.
What future works do the NDAA Secretariat have planned?
This is a really exciting time for the NDAA. The Secretariat are working with people living with dementia and carers on a document setting out the Dementia Statements through a legal lens, which will be launched at the annual conference in February. We are also moving the Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter into Wales.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I have been to a royal film premier and sat behind Prince Charles!