Meet the Team
I founded and have led the Alliance for the past seven years.
In 2012 I studied dementia care as part of my Health & Social care degree with The Open University. This inspired further research into the complexities of the disease and the limited local, post diagnostic support. I spoke to many families struggling to navigate the system and I was determined to help.
This sent me on a mission to learn more and raise dementia awareness in Exeter. My childhood memories of visiting care homes with my grandmother as a little girl were also a strong influence.
Fast forward 18 months and – working with numerous individuals and organisations – the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance was born. Ever since I have been working to make a difference for people living with dementia and their loved ones by educating and working with others.
As well as becoming the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends Champion in 2016, I was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to local people with dementia and their families in 2018.
I am a qualified counsellor, reflexologist and soon-to-be coach and was awarded a scholarship to the Memory Bridge Training Retreat in Bloomington, Indiana.
I have personal experience of family and friends living with dementia and host the ‘Living Better with Dementia’ radio show on Exeter-based radio station 106.8 FM.
Without the team and our incredible supporting partners we would not be where we are today. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I will continue doing what I can do for our city.
Do have a listen to my chat with Pippa Kelly on her podcast here.
I am a local farmer who lost both parents to dementia. My family have supported the Alliance for several years and I joined the board five years ago.
I am the Alliance Secretary and provide admin and other support. I also work for Libraries Unlimited as Service Development Manager and my family has been affected by dementia.
I have four Devon Nursing Homes (Southern Healthcare) and run Eden Alternative training in modern models of care.
I hold a Masters in Dementia studies and am a passionate advocate for sector change, innovation and collaboration through various national groups.
Ben de Cruz
I am the Alliance Treasurer and provide finance and other support. I am also the managing partner of an accountancy practice in Exeter and have long associations with charitable clients in the local area.
I am a carer for my husband John who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017. My late father and both my grandmothers also lived with dementia. I enjoy running and walking, and created the Cosy Routes project to help people make the most of Exeter’s great outdoors.
Since leaving a long career with the University of Exeter in 2019, I have done voluntary work with the Guide Dogs as a sighted guide, and with the Alliance helping out with various tasks. I also work part-time as a parish clerk.