Our Policy Involvement Panel members felt compelled to help shape dementia policy, after witnessing the devastation the condition causes. Our members are giving a voice to people affected by dementia.

Find out more about our Panel below.

Anna Cook

Anna Cook

Wales

“We need to see a greater awareness about brain health, to help people reduce their risk of dementia.

I enjoyed the input and results when I was one of the UN Women’s Champions for Change at Empower Women. This experience, along with my interest in marketing, motivated me to join this panel. I am also a strong advocate for activity as part of healthy ageing. I love to promote the benefits of dance, yoga, and active hiking. People need a greater awareness to help reduce the risk of, and stop, dementia.”

Claire Wathes

Claire Wathes

Buckinghamshire

“I would like there to be more engagement with health service providers, to help set up the necessary infrastructure to enable new detection methods to be rolled out nationally at the earliest opportunity.

I wanted a role which might help reduce the inequality in healthcare provision for people with dementia. Working with government to support new research into the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is a priority. Alongside my work with Alzheimer’s Research UK, I work in a membership role at the Council of the Royal Society of Biology. I also have great interests in wildlife and the environment.”

Gail Lawler

Gail Lawler

Northumberland

“We need to see a greater awareness about brain health, to help people reduce their risk of dementia.

“Early detection of the diseases that cause dementia and treatment to slow the diseases that cause it must be placed on highest priority. These two areas go hand in hand.

Helen Beaumont

Helen Beaumont

Manchester

"Research to more accurately diagnose dementia must be improved – if you can’t diagnose an illness, how can you hope to find a cure?

I hope that being part of the Policy Involvement Panel will help to make my voice louder than if I was driving change for Alzheimer’s Research UK as an individual. I also wanted to be involved to help raise the profile of Alzheimer’s disease in the media. When I’m not actively working in the field of dementia research, you will find me scuba diving. I’ve also recently joined parkrun, however since a recent hip replacement, I more of a park walker than a runner.”

Kathy Connor

Kathy Connor

Dorset

“My motivation is to raise public and medical staff awareness of dementia – including greater awareness of the different types of dementia.

You will find me spending most of my time with my beautiful son and daughter, who remind me of my lovely husband Barry, who died of early onset Alzheimer’s. I also enjoy walking along the beautiful Jurassic coastline and sea swimming.”

Phil Hollins

Phil Hollins

London

“Eventually, I would like to see the introduction of an opt-in early detection programme.

The Policy Involvement Panel provides the opportunity to not only use my personal connection to dementia, but also share some of the experiences I have gained from my long corporate career.

I hope my experiences of dementia will go some way in enabling at least one family to understand their dementia journey more effectively. I appreciate the importance of communicating Alzheimer’s Research UK’s findings in the most appropriate way. My commitment to raise the profile of brain health extends to my business; ‘CyclingPositive’ which helps promote the physical and mental benefits of cycling.”

Sam Weller

Sam Weller

Cambridgeshire

“Improving dementia diagnosis must be a priority, alongside getting more people involved in research.

I have previous experience of policy-making in the public sector and when my wife developed Alzheimer’s disease, I felt I could use my skills to really help this policy area. When I’m not campaigning for significant change in dementia research policy, you will find me actively volunteering in the charity sector in Cambridgeshire and exploring family tree research.”

Miranda Jokel

Miranda Jokel

Isle of Wight

"My new role as part of the Policy Involvement Panel will hopefully make my children proud, contribute to the charity, and increase my confidence.

I have a variety of interests and hobbies. I enjoy travelling the UK with my Spanish rescue dog, promoting my partner’s blues music, and helping people to save money on their household bills in my role as a distributor for Utility Warehouse Discount Club."