Country Director receives MBE for services to dementia in Wales

Alzheimer’s Society Cymru’s Sue Phelps visited Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 11 October to receive her well-deserved MBE for services to dementia in Wales.

Sue Phelps standing in front of 'A world without dementia' posters

Sue, who celebrated reaching two decades working for the Society in 2015, has been influential in Wales and across the Society in championing the rights of people with dementia and working tirelessly to ensure services meet the needs of people affected by the condition across the country.

Sue has worked in the voluntary sector in England and Wales for over 30 years.

Now Country Director, Sue has undertaken several important roles in her long-standing career at the Society, first started working for the charity as an Administrator following the death of her grandfather, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Since then she has held a number of service development and management posts within the organisation before becoming Director of Operations in 2012 and Country Director in 2017.

Currently Sue is also co-directing the Society’s Campaigns and Partnerships team who deliver the organisation’s policy, public affairs, campaigning and community engagement work, including the Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Communities programmes.

There are 45,000 people living with dementia in Wales and 35 Dementia Friendly Communities which are rapidly increasing in number. Wales is also very close to implementing its first dementia strategy, which is expected this autumn, of which Sue has played a pivotal role in influencing.

On receiving the news of the Honour back in June to mark the Queen’s birthday, Sue said:

'This award is such a tremendous honour. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last twenty years working at Alzheimer’s Society and am still as passionate about the cause as when I first joined.

'I am proud to play my part in raising much needed awareness of dementia and doing as much as I can to ensure services and support are available, when needed, for people living with dementia right across the country.'

'This is an exciting time for the Society and Wales in particular with the new dementia strategy on the horizon and I am excited by the challenges and opportunities that are sure to come. I am confident that we can transform the dementia landscape and will continue to make a real difference to the lives of those individuals and families who are living with dementia.'

Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said:

'This is a very well deserved recognition of amazing service. Sue has worked relentlessly over the past two decades for Alzheimer’s Society and people with dementia. I am extremely proud of Sue’s achievement; as a colleague and a friend.  She is inspirational to work with and I know is determined to ensure everyone in Wales understands better and can support people affected by dementia.'

Sue was joined at the ceremony by her husband and two daughters, Kerry and Bethan who have followed in their mother’s footsteps and also work for Alzheimer’s Society.

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