Vice-Presidents and Patrons
The roles of Vice-President and Patron recognises those who have shown their sustained dedication to supporting people affected by dementia. We are proud that they share our vision for a world where dementia no longer devastates lives.
HRH Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra has been our royal patron since 1990. She hosts our annual People Awards ceremony at St James's Palace to celebrate the contribution of our staff and volunteers.
Professor Jim Edwardson
Professor Edwardson was formerly Director of the Medical Research Council’s Neurochemical Pathology Unit at Newcastle University, leading a team internationally recognised for its work on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies. He also became the founding Director of the University’s Institute for Ageing and Health. Jim also served on the Neuroscience Board of the Medical Research Council.
Jim joined the Alzheimer’s Society shortly after its formation and served as Chairman of the Newcastle Branch and also as North East Regional Chairman in the early years of the Society’s development. When the national Alzheimer’s Society set up its first Research Committee, Jim became the Scientific Secretary.
Jim is now Emeritus Professor at the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) at Newcastle University. He was co-founder of VOICE, a community of public, patients and carers who are passionate about working with researchers and which is embedded in NICA and now has a global outreach.
Dr Nori Graham
Dr Graham is Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Emeritus Consultant in the Psychiatry of Old Age at the Royal Free Hospital and Mental Health Consultant to a nursing home in London. She is a former chairman of Alzheimer's Society and honorary Vice-President of Alzheimer's Disease International.
Carol and Stuart Jennings
Carol and Stuart Jennings have played an invaluable and critical part in Alzheimer’s research since the late 1980s when Carol responded to Professor Sir John Hardy’s request, via an Alzheimer’s Society newsletter, for volunteers to take part in his research.
Carol’s family showed a strong history of early onset dementia, and it is through Carol and her family offering up hours of their time for brain scans, blood tests and memory assessments that Professor Hardy was able to formulate his ‘amyloid hypothesis’.
Carol and Stuart have tirelessly travelled the world going to conferences and events to talk about the research; raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and encouraging others to take part in dementia research too.
Dr Christine Kirk
Dr Kirk is a former senior psychiatrist and has been a leading volunteer with Alzheimer's Society since 1979.
Sarah Weir OBE
Sarah Weir was a dedicated member of our Board of Trustees for nine years. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, her support in thinking through scenarios, development of contingency planning, fundraising innovation and cost reduction initiatives helped ensure that the Society emerged stronger and more agile and better able to help those affected by dementia.
Professor Gordon Wilcock
Professor Wilcock was the Founder Chairman of the Society to which he has continued to be an active contributor since its inception in 1979. Working mainly in Oxford and Bristol he was involved in both the care of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and research, for over 40 years.
He established one of the UK’s first, if not the first, multidisciplinary memory disorders clinics in 1978, and has also worked on the development of treatments and improvements in diagnosis and delivery of care.
Professor Sube Banerjee MBE
Professor Banerjee is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University of Plymouth and Professor of Dementia. He trained at St Thomas’s Hospital, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Institute of Psychiatry, and the London Business School. Clinically he works as an old age psychiatrist and has focused on the development and delivery of high quality memory assessment services and post-diagnostic care.
He served as the Department of Health for England’s senior professional advisor on dementia and led the development and delivery of its National Dementia Strategy. He is active in clinical research and focusses on quality of life and quality of care in dementia and the evaluation of new treatments and services.
He works with governments and the WHO on health policy and strategies to improve health for older adults with complex needs and those with dementia.
Baroness Rosie Boycott
Baroness Boycott is a feminist and academic who co-founded the women's magazine Spare Rib in 1971. She is also co-founder of Virago Press, a publisher committed to women's writing. She was the editor of Esquire magazine, as well as the Independent on Sunday, the Independent and the Daily Express. In 2018 Rosie became a life peer in the House of Lords. Rosie's father had dementia.
Professor Carol Brayne CBE
Professor Brayne is Professor of Public Health Medicine and co-director of Cambridge Public Health at the University of Cambridge. Carol is an epidemiologist and public health physician. She is interested in the natural history of brain health and dementia in populations, including risk and protective factors for dementia. She has led several large research studies that follow participants over extremely long timescales. Carol was Co-Chair of the Alzheimer's Society's Research Advisory Committee up to 2022.
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench is a much-loved actor. Her role as Iris Murdoch in the film Iris (2001) won critical acclaim for her moving portrayal of the writer's journey into dementia.
Professor Murna Downs
Professor Downs is Chair in Dementia Studies and Head of the School of Dementia Studies at University of Bradford. Her research interests are in the area of the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions promoting quality of life and quality of care in people with dementia and their families.
Her interests also include the lived experience of dementia, palliative care and the effectiveness of training and education. Murna was awarded an honorary MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her services to the social sciences.
Actress Britt Ekland has spoken of her experiences caring for her mother who had dementia and died in 1994. Her film credits include Get Carter and the cult classic The Wicker Man.
Professor Nick Fox
Professor Fox is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Dementia Research Centre at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and a PI in the UK DRI. He is a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery where he runs a specialist cognitive clinic. His research started with the award of one of the first Alzheimer’s Society’s Research Fellowships.
He is a member of the Alzheimer’s Society Research Strategy Council. His research interests include the use of imaging and biomarkers to improve diagnosis and accelerate the search for effective therapies. He has a particular focus on young onset and familial dementias and helped to set up the first support groups for these disorders.
Professor Steve Gentleman
Professor Gentleman is Professor of Neuropathology at Imperial College, London. His research has focused on the link between head injury and Alzheimer's Disease. Steve was one of the first Alzheimer's Society Research Fellows and is a current member of Alzheimer's Society's Research Advisory Committee.
Lawrie McMenemy MBE
Lawrie McMenemy MBE is a former football manager who won the FA Cup with Southampton in 1976. Lawrie also managed Northern Ireland's national team and coached the England national side during the 1990's. Lawrie has a close, personal connection to dementia. He officially started the Bupa Great South Run in 2010 and is a passionate supporter of the local services in Hampshire.
Professor Steven Rose
Professor Rose is a neurobiologist and widely published author on the biological processes involved in memory formation and treatments for Alzheimer's disease. He is Emeritus Professor of neuroscience at the Open University.
Professor Martin Rossor
Professor Rossor trained in Neurology at the National Hospital, Queen Square and undertook research into the neurochemistry of degenerative dementia at the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit, Cambridge.
He is Professor of Clinical Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and established a specialist cognitive disorders clinic which acts as a tertiary referral service for young onset and rare dementias. Martin’s clinical research interests are in the degenerative dementias and particularly in familial disease.
He was editor of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, and President of the Association of British Neurologists. Martin was the NIHR National Director for Dementia Research and Director NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre Dementia Theme.
Professor Bob Woods
Professor Woods is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology of Older People at Bangor University, establishing the Dementia Services Development Centre for Wales in 1999 and serving as director of NEURODEM Cymru, the Wales Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network, from 2005 to 2015.
His primary research focus was on psychosocial interventions to enhance quality of life and function in people living with dementia, including reminiscence and cognitive stimulation. For 40 years, Bob was a practising clinical psychologist working with older people in a variety of settings, becoming an active supporter of the Society, at local and national levels, in the early 1980s.
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