Our Founders and Welcome Volunteers

Dianne Smith - Co-Founder

Dianne works for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust to ensure that a strategy for dementia care is in place and implemented, following national expectations as an acute hospital trust. She has developed a skilled workforce, including dementia champions, on all their hospital sites. She has developed a unique passport for people with dementia and cognitive impairment, introduced and implemented the Butterfly Scheme and designed, with help of a nutritional dementia team, a menu to cater to specific needs where required. Dianne is keen to link with primary health and social care colleagues to improve the quality of care delivered and understands the importance of working in partnership with families and carers to ensure we provide stability and continuity for the person with dementia or cognitive impairment whilst in hospital. She also has a personal interest and desire to develop services due to her dad having lived with vascular dementia, which encourages her passion to make a difference.

Dr Penny Foulds - Co-Founder

Originally a science teacher, Penny became interested in Alzheimer's after her grandparents developed the disease. She was given the opportunity to undertake a PhD at Lancaster University, and afterwards continued her research into the biochemistry of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Penny has an extensive record of community involvement, giving regular talks on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia to interested groups. She founded Lancaster University's 'Defying Dementia' campaign in 2015, to raise awareness of dementia, and to raise funds towards a compound being developed at Lancaster, that has the potential to slow down or even halt the progression of Alzheimer's.

Having left the University's research environment, she is now part of Blackpool based MAC Clinical Research, with the ambition of progressing new potential therapies from clinical trials into new drugs for dementia and Parkinson's.

Alex Burton

Alex Burton was diagnosed in 2011 with early onset dementia.

Alex, dismayed at finding no support for himself after his diagnosis, believed many others would be in the same position. Not wishing to just accept that there was little provision for people recently diagnosed and supported through the condition, he came up with the idea of a 'one-stop shop' of information and support and hence our 'Hub' Initiative was born.