Spokespeople for media interviews
Media interviews are available with Alzheimer's Society staff working across the charity.
Comment on health and social care, campaigns work, practical advice for people with dementia and their carers, fundraising and scientific research can be organised by contacting the press office.
There are also charity spokespeople based throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for regional media requests.
Alzheimer's Society works with many high profile and celebrity supporters who are part of our vice-presidents, patrons and ambassadors programme.To organise an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our media team via phone or email.
Phone: 08450 744 395
Out of hours (urgent enquiries): 07802 688 774
Spokespeople are also available for interviews on an ISDN line: 020 7481 0765.
Operations and General:
Jeremy Hughes: C.E.O
Jeremy Hughes joined Alzheimer’s Society in November 2010. He is leading the charity in its five year strategy, ‘Delivering on Dementia 2012-17’, managing an annual budget in excess of £90m. Jeremy co-chairs the Dementia Friendly Communities Champions Group with top broadcaster Angela Rippon for the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May.
Jeremy was previously Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer where he was instrumental in providing visionary leadership, galvanising the charity's research platform and its authority on campaigning and policy. Before that Jeremy was Head of External Affairs at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
His career in health and social care charities includes leadership posts at the British Red Cross, Leonard Cheshire, Muscular Dystrophy and NCH Action for Children.
Jeremy was the chair of National Voices 2009-14. He is currently the Co-chair of the UK Dementia Action Alliance and chair of the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementias Action Alliance.
Jeremy was awarded the CBE for services to older people in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015.
Jeremy is married with two children and lives in London and Dorset. Jeremy’s hobbies are walking, gardening and house renovation.
Kathryn Smith - Director of Operations
Kathryn joined Alzheimer's Society in September 2012 as Director of Operations. Kathryn's management and leadership responsibilities cover all of the Societies operational services throughout the Operational Leadership Team, which incorporates the local services in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the Universal services through the Knowledge team and the External Training and Consultancy services.
Kathryn has worked in social care since 1989, including within the private sector, a Health trust, four different local authorities and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (predecessor to the CQC). She has also taught various social work courses for Leeds University and the Open University.
Most recently Kathryn worked for Scope where she was the Director of Services, including the role of Responsible Individual for all of Scope's children's services registered with OFSTED, the services in Wales registered with CCISW, and the nominated individual for all of the adults services registered with CQC.
Kathryn has previously been a school governor for a primary school in Leeds and was Chair of the Guidance Develop Group for Hospital to Home Transitions for the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care. Kathryn is also a trustee for Equality Together, Bradford.
Kathryn lives in Yorkshire with her three sons and enjoys horse riding and spending time with her family. Kathryn has personal experience of dementia through her late Grandfather and Great Aunt and ran the marathon for Alzheimer’s Society in 2015.
Andy Whyte - Director of Appeals
Andy is the Director of Appeals and is leading our new transformational fundraising drive that will be launched publicly in 2017.
An accomplished presenter, multi-million pound fundraiser and major appeal specialist, he helps inform and inspire people to support our cause.
Having run charity changing appeals at the RNLI, MS Society and having been a consultant with a leading charity sector agency, he has led teams and motivated individuals to engage and deliver extraordinary results.
Andy loves the sea, having spent a younger 16 years in the Royal Navy, ultimately commanding a warship overseas.
He is a proud volunteer chairman at the RNLI in Poole and lives in Bournemouth with his partner and their mischievous chocolate labrador 'D' for dog.
Michael Dent - Director of Fundraising
Michael Dent joined Alzheimer's Society as Director of Fundraising in April 2016.
He took up his role at Alzheimer’s Society after moving from Macmillan Cancer Support, where he had been Director of Mass Market Fundraising since September 2011.
Michael oversees all fundraising and commercial activities at Alzheimer’s Society and the fight against dementia is close to his heart because he has been personally affected by the condition.
Michael led a 90-strong multi-award winning team at Macmillan and was at the forefront of the charity’s high-profile campaigns, spearheading a fundraising strategy that raised its income from £98 million to more than £170 million in five years and saw the recruitment of more than two million new supporters.
He was responsible for substantially increasing the profile and income of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and introduced a range of new product launches including Sober October, Brave the Shave and Good Night In.
Previously, he was Head of Direct Marketing & Sales with Macmillan from August 2010 and held senior roles with the Royal Voluntary Service.
Michael is also a trustee for International Development Enterprises giving him expert insight into the development of major donor engagement.
He is a keen traveller with a soft spot for Belize, and clearly likes a challenge having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to boost the Macmillan fundraising cause and also putting on his running shoes to tackle the Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon.
Martin Sheehan - Head of Customer Service
Martin has been with Alzheimer’s Society for over seven years, and is Head of Customer Service and Insight, responsible for our Customer Care team and fundraising database teams. Having seen how life for his grandmother changed as she battled dementia for eight years, and for his aunt who was her primary carer, Martin is committed to offering the best possible service to people who come to the Society for support themselves, or to support our work.
Helen Foster - Operations Director (North)
Helen is Operations Director North at Alzheimer's Society where she has worked for 10½ years. She is responsible for the strategic development and operation of all services across the Northern Region.
Beginning her career in the voluntary sector around 30 years ago as a practitioner, she has worked all over the country in roles at Citizen Advice Bureau, Age UK and Action for Blind People, before becoming an Area Manager for Alzheimer's Society in 2005.
Having been a carer for her mother who had vascular dementia, been a practitioner and now a strategic manager, she can bring a unique perspective from all these roles to service development and operations.
Passionate about improving outcomes for people affected by dementia, she is keen to establish partnership working and forge relationships with the public and private sector.
Angie Newing: Operations Director (South)
Angie joined the Society on the 24 November 2009.
Her previous working life had been in the civil service; as a support worker for a number of London Boroughs; as a Passenger Transport Manager as well as a variety of roles with the British Red Cross.
Paul Dunnery - Operations Director (Central Region)
Paul joined the Society in November 1994 after a number of years with the Health Service where he specialised in working with older people with mental health problems and people with dementia. In his time with the Society he has worked as an Advocate for people with dementia, as a Branch Manager, as a Locality Manager and subsequently as Area Manager for East Anglia before taking up his current post as Operations Director for Central Region in January 2013.
Paul lists his interests outside of work as spending time with his family, walking and baking.
Bernadine McCrory - Operations Director (Northern Ireland)
Bernadine has worked in the private and voluntary health sector in the North and South of Ireland for more than 20 years and is a Registered Nurse with additional qualifications at Post Graduate level in Health Service Management.
Currently Bernadine is studying at the University of Ulster for a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Investment in the Third Sector.
Bernadine’s initial involvement with Alzheimer’s Society was as a volunteer and in 2009 she joined us as Service Improvement and Business Development Manager. After a period as Interim Director, she secured the permanent post in May 2012.
Personal interests include cycling and amateur dramatics.
Sue Phelps - Operations Director (Wales)
Sue Phelps has worked in the voluntary sector in England and Wales since completing her degree in Social Administration at Manchester University.
Sue began work with the Alzheimer’s Society twenty years ago as an administrator following the death of her grandfather who had Alzheimer’s disease, she has held a number of service development and management posts within the organisation before becoming Director in May 2012.
George McNamara: Head of Policy and Public Affairs
George is responsible for the Society's policy, public affairs, campaigns, stakeholder engagement, conferences and events functions. He is also the organisation's strategic lead for global dementia activity.
Within the Society, George is currently leading the transformation of integrated dementia care. He works closely with leaders in NHSE and local government through the implementation of the Prime Minister's challenge on Dementia 2020, new models of care vanguards, health devolution across England and with Clinical Commissioning Groups. George was also one of the founding leaders spearheading the creation of the dementia friendly communities. He continues to work with communities developing ways to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people affected by dementia.
George has over 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector and prior to joining Alzheimer's Society, he held senior policy and influencing positions at NCH Action for Children and the British Red Cross. He was instrumental in the creation of Family Intervention Projects across England and the development of volunteer-led home from hospital services. He has worked in Downing Street, Parliament, the Home Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
George has written a number of publications on a variety of social policy issues and regularly speaks at health and social care conferences. He sits on a number of government, NHS health and social care expert and advisory groups. In his spare time he likes to volunteer in the local community having been a school governor for over ten years and a volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Andrew Boaden: Senior Policy Officer
Andrew leads Alzheimer’s Society policy work on risk reduction, NHS policy and integration of health and social care. He authored the lead report of the Fix Dementia Care campaign on hospital care and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dementia report on dementia and comorbidities.
Prior to this, he worked at the MS Society, where he led the development of a landmark scientific consensus paper regarding the importance of early treatment of MS and Community Action Southwark, supporting voluntary organisations to engage in local government policy development.
He lived and worked in Nigeria for 6 months and is a keen musician and footballer.
Gavin Terry: Policy Manager
Gavin has been Policy Manager at Alzheimer’s Society since March 2014 and leads the Policy team in the analysis of emerging health, social care and public policy and how it relates to the needs and experiences of people affected by dementia. His team are also responsible for forging relationships and working to influence key stakeholders, as well as developing key policy evidence around dementia to support the Society’s lobbying and campaigning strategic objectives.
Gavin previously held the role of Policy Manager at Diabetes UK and, prior to working in the voluntary sector, worked in the NHS in both primary and acute care service development.
Martina Kane: Senior Policy Officer
Martina has been in the Policy Team at Alzheimer’s Society for 5 years, leading on projects such as: Dementia 2015, My life until the end: dying well with dementia, and supporting the All-Party Parliamentary group inquiry into diagnosis in 2012.
Before coming to the Society she worked for Rethink Mental Illness. She is a qualified psychodynamic counsellor and did the original research for her master’s degree dissertation exploring counsellor’s experience of using outcomes frameworks.
She lives in Surbiton with her husband and two daughters.
Dr Doug Brown: Director of Research and Development
Doug completed his PhD at Cambridge on HIV research and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research working on malaria, before taking up a post at the Multiple Sclerosis Society leading the biomedical research programme.
After five years Doug moved to Alzheimer’s Society to lead the Research and Development programme. Alzheimer’s Society aims to invest more than £10 million a year in dementia research by 2017, and has committed to spending at least £100m over the next decade.
The research programme will continue to fund across the spectrum of dementia research, into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, and will focus on translating and implementing research findings for ultimate benefit of people affected by dementia.
Dr Clare Walton: Research Communications Manager
Clare has a PhD in Neuroscience from the Rockefeller University in New York City and is passionate about communicating science to lay audiences. Before joining Alzheimer’s Society, she worked in the fields of stem cells and stroke research and has an MA in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.
Clare lives in Catford with her partner and enjoys travel, hiking and growing her own vegetables.
Dr James Pickett: Head of Research
Dr James Pickett has been working in the area of dementia research for 6 years, and is the current Head of Research. He has a knowledge of the dementia research landscape, both in the UK and overseas in particular covering biomedical research, trials and treatment and prevention approaches. James has a positive outlook for progress in dementia research and that new treatments may be found in the next 5 years.
James has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and has also worked in the area of diabetes. James lives with his wife and son in Hertfordshire and enjoys running.
Dr Louise Walker: Research Communications Officer
Louise has a degree in Medical Biochemistry and a PhD in Cell Biology, both from the University of Manchester and specialises in cell signalling and endocytosis. She has also done research into the genetics of dementia whilst on a placement at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida during her undergraduate degree.
She currently lives in North Hertfordshire and is attempting to teach herself photography, with varying degrees of success.