Alzheimer's Society Spokespeople List

Media interviews are available with Alzheimer's Society staff working across the charity.

Comment on health and social care, campaigns work, practical advice for people with dementia and their carers, fundraising and scientific research can be organised by contacting the press office.

There are also charity spokespeople based throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for regional media requests.

Alzheimer's Society works with many high profile and celebrity supporters who are part of our vice-presidents, patrons and ambassadors programme. To organise an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact our media team via phone or email.

  • Phone: 08450 744 395
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Out of hours (urgent enquiries): 07802 688 774
  • Spokespeople are also available for interviews on an ISDN line: 020 7481 0765

Our Spokespeople  

Operations and General

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Hughes Alzheimer's Society CEO headshot

Jeremy Hughes joined Alzheimer‚Äôs Society in November 2010. He is leading the charity in its five year strategy, ‚ÄėDelivering on Dementia 2012-17‚Äô, managing an annual budget in excess of ¬£90m. Jeremy co-chairs the Dementia Friendly Communities Champions Group with top broadcaster Angela Rippon for the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Jeremy was previously Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer where he was instrumental in providing visionary leadership, galvanising the charity's research platform and its authority on campaigning and policy. Before that Jeremy was Head of External Affairs at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

His career in health and social care charities includes leadership posts at the British Red Cross, Leonard Cheshire, Muscular Dystrophy and NCH Action for Children.

Jeremy was the chair of National Voices 2009-14. He is currently the Co-chair of the UK Dementia Action Alliance and chair of the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementias Action Alliance.

Jeremy was awarded the CBE for services to older people in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015.

Jeremy is married with two children and lives in London and Dorset. Jeremy’s hobbies are walking, gardening and house renovation.

Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations

Kathryn Smith Director of Operations Alzheimer's Society headshot

Kathryn joined Alzheimer's Society in September 2012 as Director of Operations. Kathryn's management and leadership responsibilities cover all of the Societies operational services throughout the Operational Leadership Team, which incorporates the local services in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Universal services through the Knowledge team and the External Training and Consultancy services.

Kathryn has worked in social care since 1989, including within the private sector, a Health trust, four different local authorities and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (predecessor to the CQC). She has also taught various social work courses for Leeds University and the Open University.

Most recently Kathryn worked for Scope where she was the Director of Services, including the role of Responsible Individual for all of Scope's children's services registered with OFSTED, the services in Wales registered with CCISW, and the nominated individual for all of the adults services registered with CQC.

Kathryn has previously been a school governor for a primary school in Leeds and was Chair of the Guidance Develop Group for Hospital to Home Transitions for the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care. Kathryn is also a trustee for Equality Together, Bradford.

Kathryn lives in Yorkshire with her three sons and enjoys horse riding and spending time with her family. Kathryn has personal experience of dementia through her late Grandfather and Great Aunt and ran the marathon for Alzheimer’s Society in 2015.

Michael Dent, Director of Fundraising

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Michael Dent joined Alzheimer's Society as Director of Fundraising in April 2016.

He took up his role at Alzheimer’s Society after moving from Macmillan Cancer Support, where he had been Director of Mass Market Fundraising since September 2011.

Michael oversees all fundraising and commercial activities at Alzheimer‚Äôs Society  and the fight against dementia is close to his heart because he has been personally affected by the condition.  

Michael led a 90-strong multi-award winning team at Macmillan and was at the forefront of the charity‚Äôs high-profile campaigns, spearheading a fundraising strategy that raised its income from ¬£98 million to more than ¬£170 million in five years and saw the recruitment of more than two million new supporters. 

He was responsible for substantially increasing the profile and income of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and introduced a range of new product launches including Sober October, Brave the Shave and Good Night In.

Previously, he was Head of Direct Marketing & Sales with Macmillan from August 2010 and held senior roles with the Royal Voluntary Service.  

Michael is also a trustee for International Development Enterprises giving him expert insight into the development of major donor engagement.

He is a keen traveller with a soft spot for Belize, and clearly likes a challenge having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to boost the Macmillan fundraising cause and also putting on his running shoes to tackle the Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon.

Regional

Helen Foster, Operations Director - Transformation and Strategic Change

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Helen is Operations Director North at Alzheimer's Society where she has worked for 10¬Ĺ years. She is responsible for the strategic development and operation of all services across the Northern Region.

Beginning her career in the voluntary sector around 30 years ago as a practitioner, she has worked all over the country in roles at Citizen Advice Bureau, Age UK and Action for Blind People, before becoming an Area Manager for Alzheimer's Society in 2005.  

Having been a carer for her mother who had vascular dementia, been a practitioner and now a strategic manager, she can bring a unique perspective from all these roles to service development and operations.

Passionate about improving outcomes for people affected by dementia, she is keen to establish partnership working and forge relationships with the public and private sector.

Bernadine McCrory, Country Director (Northern Ireland)

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Bernadine has worked in the private and voluntary health sector in the North and South of Ireland for more than 20 years and is a Registered Nurse with additional qualifications at Post Graduate level in Health Service Management.

Currently Bernadine is studying at the University of Ulster for a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Investment in the Third Sector.

Bernadine’s initial involvement with Alzheimer’s Society was as a volunteer and in 2009 she joined us as Service Improvement and Business Development Manager. After a period as Interim Director, she secured the permanent post in May 2012.

Personal interests include cycling and amateur dramatics.

Sue Phelps, Country Director (Wales)

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Sue Phelps has worked in the voluntary sector in England and Wales since completing her degree in Social Administration at Manchester University.  

Sue began work with the Alzheimer’s Society twenty years ago as an administrator following the death of her grandfather who had Alzheimer’s disease, she has held a number of service development and management posts within the organisation before becoming Director in May 2012.

Tim McLachlan, Operations Director ‚Äď Local Services

Tim Mclachlan Alzheimer's Society spokespeople page

Tim is responsible for all the Society‚Äôs local service delivery across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, helping and supporting thousands of individuals affected by dementia, their families and carers.   

Prior to joining Alzheimer‚Äôs Society Tim has worked in the voluntary sector for over 18 years leading and developing charities.  Tim holds an MBA from Liverpool University and was their first student to apply an MBA to the Voluntary Sector, specialising in strategic planning.  As a Chief Executive, Operations Director and Fundraising and Marketing Director he has worked across the UK in social care, homelessness, Olympic Legacy and education.

Away from work Tim enjoys golf, cricket and choral music, singing with Chester Cathedral Choir and directing their Saturday Singing Club for primary school children. Tim is also a Cub Scout Leader in his local pack. He is married with two young children and lives in Cheshire.

Policy

 

Nicola O'Brien, Head of Policy and Campaigns

Nicola O'Brien Head of Policy and Campaigns headshot

Nicola leads the team responsible for securing change in dementia care policy at both national and local level. This involves engaging and influencing Government, Opposition, and other key health and social care decision-makers. Evidence about the current system and the experiences of people affected by dementia are crucial to the work in building the compelling case for change. Nicola is also responsible for amplifying these arguments for better care with the help and power of our campaign supporters, who are in touch with the Society daily and have joined the fight to end the injustice for people affected by dementia.

During her time here Nicola has worked on our campaigns to improve diagnosis rates, reduce prescriptions of anti-psychotic drugs, and improve legislation such as the Care Act. She has also lead our Fix Dementia Care Campaign and our work to see commitments across all political parties over the last two general elections.

Prior to her work at Alzheimer’s Society Nicola was a journalist writing about health policy, medicines, and the pharmaceutical industry in the UK.

Gavin Terry, Policy Manager

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Gavin has been Policy Manager at Alzheimer‚Äôs Society since March 2014 and leads the Policy team in the analysis of emerging health, social care and public policy and how it relates to the needs and experiences of people affected by dementia.  His team are also responsible for forging relationships and working to influence key stakeholders, as well as developing key policy evidence around dementia to support the Society‚Äôs lobbying and campaigning strategic objectives. 

Gavin previously held the role of Policy Manager at Diabetes UK and, prior to working in the voluntary sector, worked in the NHS in both primary and acute care service development.

Dominic Carter, Senior Policy Officer

Dominic Carter, Senior Policy Officer Alzheimer's Society headshot

Dominic is policy lead for the Society on social care, public health and the care workforce. He joined the organisation in March 2016.

Recently he analysed and reported on the findings of the charity’s largest ever consultation of people affected by dementia, Turning Up the Volume. He has also led research on the third phase of the Fix Dementia Care campaign, profiling the need for the sector to provide quality dementia-specific training to support care workers.

Dominic previously worked in policy for a not-for-profit care provider membership organisation within the social care sector after completing his degree at the University of Leeds.

Alice Rigby, Senior Public Affairs & Campaigning Officer

Alice Rigby, Senior Public Affairs & Campaigning Officer Alzheimer's Society headshot

Alice leads Alzheimer’s Society’s parliamentary and campaigning work. Her team are responsible for ensuring dementia remains high on the political agenda and for forging relationships with key decision makers. Earlier this year she led on the organisation’s largest ever consultation of people affected by dementia and co-authored the accompanying report, Turning Up the Volume: unheard voices of people with dementia.

Prior to this, Alice worked at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and in the policy team at the National Council for Palliative Care.

Research

Dr Doug Brown: Director of Research and Development

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Doug completed his PhD at Cambridge on HIV research and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Medical Research Council‚Äôs National Institute for Medical Research working on malaria, before taking up a post at the Multiple Sclerosis Society leading the biomedical research programme. 

After five years Doug moved to Alzheimer’s Society to lead the Research and Development programme. Alzheimer’s Society aims to invest more than £10 million a year in dementia research by 2017, and has committed to spending at least £100m over the next decade.

The research programme will continue to fund across the spectrum of dementia research, into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, and will focus on translating and implementing research findings for ultimate benefit of people affected by dementia.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research

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Dr James Pickett has been working in the area of dementia research for 6 years, and is the current Head of Research. He has a knowledge of the dementia research landscape, both in the UK and overseas in particular covering biomedical research, trials and treatment and prevention approaches. James has a positive outlook for progress in dementia research and that new treatments may be found in the next 5 years.

James has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has also worked in the area of diabetes. James lives with his wife and son in Hertfordshire and enjoys running. 

Dr Clare Walton, Research Communications Manager

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Clare has a PhD in Neuroscience from the Rockefeller University in New York City and is passionate about communicating science to lay audiences. Before joining Alzheimer’s Society, she worked in the fields of stem cells and stroke research and has an MA in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.

Clare lives in Catford with her partner and enjoys travel, hiking and growing her own vegetables.

Dr Tim Shakespeare, Research Communications Officer

Tim Shakespeare, Research Communications Officer Alzheimer's Society headshot

Tim has a PhD in neuroimaging and neuropsychology from University College London (UCL), and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at UCL before joining Alzheimer’s Society. His research focused on changes in the eyes and visual areas of the brain due to dementia, to understand a rare form of the condition that particularly affects vision.

Tim brings experience in raising awareness of less common forms of dementia amongst the public and healthcare professionals. In his spare time he enjoys running, travelling and trips out of London to the countryside.