Meet Corinne Mills, who is Alzheimer’s Society’s Director of People and Organisational Development.
Why dementia, why the Society?
I’ve always had an affinity with charities and done a lot of fundraising throughout my life, largely because when I was seven I had leukaemia, and then when I was in my first year at university I had it again.
I have been very fortunate to have benefitted from a number of charities, and always felt I want to work for one.
Alzheimer’s Society was a big charity that was starting to have a significant impact just at the point that my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was making a difference with something that was very frightening for our family, including my children who didn’t understand why their great grandad would recognise them sometimes and not others.
How to fill an unexpected day off?
This is really easy for me! A day out with the family – and by that I mean not just my three children, it’s also my parents, my sister and her family, and the dogs – walking on Crantock Beach in Cornwall.
We would walk right the way along the beach and up the hill at the end to the pub. It’s about all being together, in rain or sun.
What I’m most proud of are my three children, who are just amazing. But one of my proudest moments was finishing the London Marathon. It was something I worked really hard for and thoroughly enjoyed the whole event, despite the fact that I couldn’t walk for the next week!
Worst advice you’ve been given?
When I was at school and doing O levels, I was told by my teachers I wasn’t clever enough to do a law degree. I did a geography degree instead and I have regretted it.
I’m lucky I work in a HR role that I love, and that I’ve gained lots of experience in employment law as part of that.
The way I’ve taken it on board is, if somebody says I can’t do anything, well I’m going to show them that I can!
Biggest priority for coming months?
Coming out of the pandemic, with people working in different ways, how do we make sure that people still feel really connected to the cause, to their teams, to the organisation and to people affected by dementia?
How do we enable people to feel positive about the really valuable work that they do?
Most important thing learned from a person with dementia?
That everybody with dementia is a different person. Everybody’s different and don’t assume anything.
Don’t assume that you know what they want or need. Ask questions and listen – let them help you to support them.
Most looking forward to?
Getting together for a nice break with all of the family (and all of our dogs!), because we haven’t all been together since lockdown.
We need your help
We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.