Our trainers

Our trainers have a wealth of personal and professional experience in supporting people living with dementia. Learn more about our Training and Consultancy team.

Sue Brewin

On joining Alzheimer's Society, Sue undertook training to become an Alzheimer's Society trainer and has been instrumental in course development and delivery ever since.

'We have developed a new range of training courses to provide more accessible and flexible training. The new courses complement an enhanced and rebranded existing training portfolio and range from training programmes suitable for everyone who comes into contact with people with dementia to more specialist courses focussing on person-centred care and engaging people with dementia in meaningful activities.'

'When creating new courses, I draw on my own experiences of caring for my Godmother after she was diagnosed with dementia. Even though I had worked closely with people living with dementia for over 20 years, when this happened to a personal friend, it was a very different experience. Alzheimer's Society's courses provide attendees with the practical skills, tools and insight to be able to relate to and effectively support people living with dementia in a variety of settings. Training techniques have evolved and with Alzheimer's Society training courses we now tend to look beyond the purely medical model and focus on a person-centred approach to dementia care, which means that we put the feelings and emotions of the person living with dementia first. Through the use of case studies, group work, knowledge sharing and experiential exercises, we examine how we could deal with situations in different ways, and the impact of how we treat people living with dementia and how that affects their response to us.'

'All of the Alzheimer's Society training courses are designed to reflect that approach and enable all levels of people engaged with and caring for people living with dementia to become better equipped and more confident in how they support the people close to them.'

Sue Newnes

Sue joined Alzheimer's Society as a volunteer in 1993 after her mother was diagnosed with dementia. Sue has since worked as a support worker, managed local services and been instrumental in raising the profile of Alzheimer's Society's services and the needs of people with dementia in Wirral. In 2004, Sue qualified to train in dementia care and has been delivering training to both staff and volunteers of the Society and external organisations for over 13 years now.

'I enjoy working for an organisation that shares my passion for improving the lives of people affected by dementia. I initially joined after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and the only support I received at the time was from the Society. The organisation has encouraged me to develop my skills and the services we provide locally. I am also a Dementia Friends Champion and have recruited over 850 dementia friends from all walks of life in 3 years.'

'I feel extremely privileged to do the work I do. As a trainer, I feel blessed to be able to deliver such informative, creative training packages and to feel that we can make a real difference to people's attitudes towards dementia and standards of care. Both my parents had dementia and sadly spent the last few years of their lives in care homes and I hope that the training I deliver may reinforce current good practice for staff and to encourage improvements in care, recognising the uniqueness of each person with dementia and to hopefully inspire others to be a voice for those who may not be able to speak out.'

Andrew Potts

Andrew has worked in the fields of dementia and mental health for over 20 years and solely in the dementia field for 13 years. Having worked in community, hospital and residential/nursing settings and for social services, the voluntary and private sector, Andrew has engaged with and supported people living with dementia in multiple settings and at various stages on their own personal journeys.

'My first dementia-specific role was as a Dementia Advocate back in 2004 when Dementia Advocacy was in its infancy. Following this, I managed teams of support workers and advocates as a Dementia Services Manager with a branch of Age Concern. Before becoming an Associate Trainer with Alzheimer's Society, I spent 8 years as a Dementia Specialist and Dementia Trainer with two of Britain's largest care home providers, training over 9000 members of staff in the process.'

'In my various roles, I have always worked alongside Alzheimer's Society and delivered their training packages at various points in my career to staff members supporting people living with dementia. Now, as an Associate Trainer, the training packages we are creating and delivering are more exciting, dynamic and innovative than ever and I look forward to the future.'

Su Burns

Su has worked with Alzheimer's Society for over 20 years and has worn many hats along the way. In 2010, Su became an Alzheimer's Society Dementia Trainer and has been involved in the development and delivery of many of the Society's training courses.

'I feel privileged to be doing the work I do. It can be incredibly humbling when you see good care and good practice. It's also amazing when you feel you're making a positive impact where care hasn't necessarily been as good as it could have been. I love that light bulb moment when you see something click with a care worker, when they take something away from a course that they are going to change.'

'Affecting a shift in the way a care worker talks to - and about - someone living with dementia can mean a shift in outlook too; a change to start seeing the individual, someone who has lived a life, rather than seeing just that person as an object.'

Grace Stead

Grace has worked with Alzheimer's Society as an Associate Trainer for over a year now and in that time has supported a number of organisations to better support people affected by dementia through the delivery of our training packages and the development of bespoke courses.

'Being an associate trainer has allowed me an opportunity to truly change the world, I am not saying in a big way but in a way that will hopefully support someone living with dementia to lead a happier life. Either through the care they receive from a hospital staff member, support by a person in the community or a passer-by that I have trained. I think everyone should have the opportunity to understand dementia because of the impact they can have professionally and personally. In all lines of work, members of staff need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to support customers with dementia and an increased understanding in the community will enable people with dementia to continue to live well. Alzheimer's Society's courses provide the opportunity for attendees to make this real active difference in the lives of those living with dementia.'

Steve Scott

Steve previously worked in retail and retail logistics at a senior management level for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in continuous improvement and development of employees, particularly in the field of cognitive wellbeing. In 2006, Steve qualified as a personal, business and leadership coach and in 2008 qualified as a Master Business Practitioner in NLP. In 2012, Steve became an associate coach and trainer with a leading mental health charity, working with many leading national and international organisations and joined Alzheimer's Society as an Associate Trainer in 2016.

'Since joining Alzheimer's Society, I have co-developed a new modular approach to training employees of organisations in gaining a better understanding and awareness of cognitive difficulties that may co-exist, including dementia, learning difficulties and mental health problems. This approach to the co-existence of different cognitive difficulties that Alzheimer's Society has taken is unique and it has been hugely satisfying to help fill this void in the marketplace. This programme enables employees and carers to better support clients and loved ones who may be faced with complex psychological and behavioural difficulties.'

'The training offered by Alzheimer's Society concentrates on practical skills that enables the philosophy of person-centred care and is prepared with the utmost attention to detail. It is this approach that drew me to become associated with the Society.'

Linda Moden

As a registered nurse working as a trainer in a group of care homes, Linda has a wealth of experience in delivering training courses around all aspects of health and social care. Linda's greatest interest, however, is dementia training and it was this passion that led her to become an Associate Trainer with Alzheimer's Society over 5 years ago.

'As an associate trainer with Alzheimer's Society, I can bring my passion, enthusiasm and practice experience to the training sessions. I feel privileged to deliver the enlightening courses that have been written by Alzheimer's Society's training team. Revisiting venues and hearing that previous groups of learners go back enthusiastic for change and are putting things in place to make life better for people living with dementia is so encouraging. Getting feedback from learners is always great and the best feedback I received recently was "I can see this is much more than a job for you, isn't it?" This comment made my day and sums up why I love my role as an Associate Trainer with Alzheimer's Society.'

Caroline Hayden-Wright

Caroline has managed her own consultancy business since 2000 providing a range of management and training services across health, local government, university, third sector and commercial organisations. Caroline's current focus is on the development and delivery of training and she joined Alzheimer's Society as an Associate Trainer in 2017.

'Prior to running my own business, I worked as an Occupational Therapist from 1986 to 2000, becoming Head Occupational Therapist on Medical and Elderly Care wards. The role focused on the assessment and treatment of older people with medical conditions. This included people living with dementia, people with cognitive difficulties and those with a range of long term conditions such as heart disease and stroke. I also worked as an Occupational Therapist in the community both for the NHS and for a private provider, enabling people with physical and cognitive difficulties to live as independently as possible. This included people living in the community with dementia and those with cognitive problems following a stroke.'

'I have gained significant knowledge and skills in the design and delivery of training related to older people and ageing through 10 years of experience working as an associate for a major UK charity. This included providing training in clinical, care and commercial environments. Topics included dementia awareness, falls awareness, professional boundaries, bereavement and loss, depression and an experiential course focused on the impact of ageing.'

'More recently, I have designed and delivered training focused on supporting vulnerable customers in a variety of commercial settings. This training raises awareness of vulnerability, including those who have age-related cognitive changes, sensory problems or are living with dementia.'

Stacey Parker

Stacey has worked as a Clinical Psychologist in Learning Disability and Autism services for over three decades, supporting vulnerable people across all age groups in NHS, social care and third sector settings. In recent years she has also worked with adults living with dementia.

‘During my career, I have always had a special interest in the development and delivery of training and its application into best practice. Providing training has often been one of the central tasks of my role as a Clinical Psychologist. I have many years of experience developing, delivering and evaluating training to a wide range of audiences including: psychology undergraduates; Doctoral students in clinical psychology; staff teams within the NHS; social services and education and in residential care settings, both private and third sector.'

'I was delighted to join Alzheimer’s Society’s team of Associate Trainers in August 2017, enabling me to bring my enthusiasm and commitment to delivering high quality person-centred and values-based training. This in turn can positively and proactively impact on the care and support offered to adults living with dementia, their families, carers and other involved organisations. In the short time I have been part of the training team, I have been offered the opportunity to develop bespoke training combining my background of learning disability with understanding dementia, both are very close to my heart.'

'Dementia is now part of life for so many people either directly or indirectly. I believe that the role of an Associate Trainer with Alzheimer’s Society enables me to raise awareness, increase knowledge and understanding, offer practical solutions to everyday challenges and genuinely make a difference.'

For information about the full range of courses and consultancy services that our trainers can deliver for your organisation, please make an enquiry online or contact us on 01904 567909.

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