Meet Zoe Campbell, Alzheimer’s Society’s Director of Operations.
Why dementia, why the Society?
I worked in adult social care for several years and was really shocked to see that dementia was often not recorded as a reason for providing support. That meant the risk of under-resourcing dementia was real and large.
I also found that dementia is not acknowledged as a health condition but as a social care matter, which can cause huge barriers to peoples’ ability to access financial and other support.
When I saw a role advertised at Alzheimer’s Society, I knew I had to go for it. It presented an opportunity to take my prior learning and knowledge and to use it in a way that could create real, positive change.
How to fill an unexpected day off?
Stephen and I would head up to Bamburgh. I’d enjoy a Guinness in the Victoria Hotel then lose myself walking on the wide, open, sandy beaches, staring at the horizon and admiring what is my favourite Northumberland castle.
I learned to ride a bike about two weeks ago – that made me very proud! Also getting a degree in three years through the Open University while working full time and being a single parent to two children.
I would also throw in those two children, they make me immensely proud.
My son has dyspraxia and dyslexia but got a law degree and my daughter took it upon herself to move to Australia, travel around Japan and now lives in New Zealand.
Worst advice you’ve been given?
Someone once advised me to consider elocution lessons, as I wouldn’t get on in life with a Geordie accent.
I did not take the advice and every time I saw them after that I amplified my accent – I mean, tell Ant and Dec that!
Biggest priority for coming months?
Making sure we provide the best possible support we can for people affected by dementia, which includes making sure the Society is a great place to work and volunteer.
Most important thing learned from a person with dementia?
This one is really tricky, there are so many I could draw upon.
Given that, I am going to say that the most important thing has been: everyone who has dementia has a unique, individual experience and is a unique individual.
Most looking forward to?
The ability to be a bit more spontaneous – not having to book tables and having to remember to take your mask before you can go anywhere.
We need your help
We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.