Our Associates

Our associates: Aubrey Maasdorp, Danuta Lipinska, Sylvia Cowleard and Julia Pitkin.


Helen Behrens

Shakespeare Training and consultancy

Helen is a registered nurse who has worked with older people in a variety of clinical settings for over 30 years. To increase her understanding of dementia, particularly of person centred care, she undertook and achieved the BSc in Dementia Studies at Bradford University 2009.

Helen believes the quality of care may be improved through equipping staff with knowledge and skills.  Over the past 18 years she has worked for a variety of educational organisations, including the Alzheimer’s Society, with responsibility for developing and delivering a wide range of courses covering all aspects of health and social care: Diploma level 2 and 3 Care and BTEC programmes, including the role of the lead Internal Verifier.

Helen is an informal carer for a close family member who has Alzheimer’s disease, so has understanding of the experiences from the perspective of an informal carer, not just a professional.

Dave Bell

Dave trained as a mental health nurse and has specialised in supporting people with dementia and their carers since 1986. Among other roles, he managed an NHS nursing home and spent five years as an Admiral Nurse team leader. He more recently worked as a specialist nurse for a Care Homes Support Team, supporting care homes with nursing at all levels, including providing training for care staff in all aspects of working with people with depression and dementia. Dave currently works as an Admiral Nurse on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nursing Direct helpline, and as an independent trainer. He lives and cycles in Brixton.

Kelly Brown

Kelly is a trained dancer with a degree from Middlesex University in dance science.  Since the age of 16 Kelly knew she wanted to enhance the health and wellbeing of older people through dance movement.  She has volunteered for over four years for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust with a leading dance psychotherapist in dementia care.  Kelly is lead dance development officer for Kirklees Council, designing and delivering a range of dance-based training courses for professionals and volunteers working alongside people with dementia in a variety of settings. She is responsible for initiatives that include chair-based activity, ballroom and Latin dancing, circle dancing and creative dance. Kelly is passionate about using dance to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their carers.

Julia Burton-Jones

Julia is a freelance trainer, having been involved in adult learning for 25 years. Her main interest has been in raising awareness of the role of older people and family carers among diverse groups of learners. A theme running through her training has been giving a voice to people with dementia, and friends and relatives who support them, including developing strategies for involving families in care home life.

Sylvia Cowleard

Beeches Training

After many years as an HR manager in various organisations, Sylvia moved to the care sector where her real interests lie. She has firsthand experience as a family carer but also worked alongside carers in residential settings to provide coaching and mentoring. She has worked closely with managers of dementia care services, giving practical guidance on HR issues and best practice in relation to dementia care. In 2004 Sylvia became a freelance trainer and HR consultant, working in the care sector and specialising in dementia care. She enjoys devising and delivering training programmes which effect positive change in care practice within the care setting to support the wellbeing of services users. More recently Sylvia has been invloved in working with people with young onset dementia and their families and has devised and delivered training specific to young onset dementia.

Tim Forrester-Morgan

Tim began his career in Social Care in 1992 when working in a Care Home as an Activities Organiser with older people. He has worked in a number of care management and service development roles within Older Peoples Services consistently over the last 2 years.

Tim gained the ENBN11 in 2000 and has been a practising Dementia Care Mapper since 2001.

Tim has a passion for promoting activity in dementia care and has a wealth of experience in running coaching & mentoring projects for management teams within care settings.

For many years Tim has provided a range of Consultation Services for care settings offering guidance on development of appropriate therapeutic environments for people with a dementia.

Fiona Fowler

Dementia Works

Fiona has worked in care services for older people for over 20 years and became a freelance trainer and consultant in 2006. She spent 12 years as an inspector and has held several managerial roles in older people’s services, specialising in dementia care. She was an associate consultant with the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University for three years. In 2006 she became a freelance trainer and consultant. She is an accredited trainer in the use of Montessori techniques with people with dementia and one of the few people in the UK to hold this qualification. She has contributed to a number of publications on training and supporting people with dementia. Fiona has recently discovered a love of Brazil, and also loves pilates, zumba and Northern Soul.

Kath Kershaw

Kath lives and works in Barnsley South Yorkshire and has 25 years’ experience of working with groups/activities within the NHS. She worked in therapy services firstly in learning disabilities, and then in mental health and dementia (older persons service) where she developed her interest in Circle dance and Dementia. She was responsible for setting up the first circle dance group for people with dementia and their partners/carers. Kath is also a tutor in adult learning and in 2008 became a freelance trainer co owning and facilitating the Circle Dance in Dementia Training and Project. She is also an experienced creative writer and works locally delivering sessions for people with mental health needs.

Maurice Lawrence

Maurice Lawrence has worked in the dementia care field since the 1990’s as an educator, trainer and practice development practitioner. He has worked at all levels within the health sector (including CCG’s), local authorities, University, third sector and the independent sector to improve the culture of care for people living with dementia and for their families/carers.

Maurice has developed and delivered specific programmes including Leadership in Person Centred Dementia Care, linked into Dementia Care Mapping aimed at the reduction in the use of anti- psychotics in people with dementia, facilitated action learning sets with a range of stakeholders in order to achieve high quality End of Life Care for people living with Dementia and around the assessment of the complex needs of people living with dementia and their family in line with the duties under the Care Act 2014.  

Maurice has been involved in the training of dementia champions and dementia friends in order to achieve the Prime Minister's challenge of creating dementia friendly communities across the UK.

Danuta Lipinska


Danuta is a trainer and facilitator, psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. Specialising in dementia care and all aspects of ageing, Danuta has a commitment to men and women with dementia, their families and those professionals who care for and support them in all environments. She has worked in the field of dementia care for 32 years and has pioneered counselling services for people with dementia, publishing ‘Person-Centred Counselling for People with Dementia’ in 2009. Since 2012 Danuta has been an action learning set facilitator with My Home Life. She is an international speaker and associate dementia specialist with Worcester University Association of Dementia Studies.

Aubrey Maasdorp

Aubrey is a skilled facilitator with more than 20 years’ experience as a trainer, specialising in dementia training since 2005. His interest in dementia developed through personal experience as a family carer and through volunteering in residential homes. Aubrey has expertise in training managers, in staff development issues and in equality and diversity. He has worked as a facilitator with Music for Life, supporting care home staff to reflect on the impact of music sessions with skilled musicians on participants with dementia. He is a certified yoga teacher and interested in the potential for yoga to benefit people living with dementia.

Rosemary Macro

Rosemary began working with people with disabilities in her role as a swimming teacher in the 1990’s. She went on to work at a charity for people with brain injuries. Rosemary also delivered chair exercise classes and line dancing to people in care, nursing and residential homes. She progressed to become a communication support coordinator facilitating groups of stroke survivors with communication difficulties post stroke working closely with speech and language therapists. The role also enabled Rosemary to visit and coach stroke survivors in their own homes. With experience of working with Stroke survivors and as a qualified teacher of adults she began training in Stroke Care. Rosemary has been a Stroke Care trainer for several years with a passion and a mission to help carers gain a good understanding of Stroke in order to provide best care.

Liv McLennan

Liv McLennan is a community musician and creative practitioner who believes in the power of music and creative arts for change. She has had a passion for working for people with dementia since her teens, when her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. After a music degree and time as an Army musician, Liv worked for various charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, developing projects mainly based around peer support and groupwork.

She works with community choirs & singing groups, people with dementia, people with Parkinson’s, and children aged 0-5 and their families. Liv has worked with various organisations, including Westminster Arts, Age Exchange and, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Alzheimer’s Society delivering music, movement, reminiscence and cross-arts projects. She is also a trainer in these areas and has run training sessions for community musicians and care workers in how to incorporate these techniques into their work.

Liv plays the cello, Highland Bagpipes and saxophone, and dabbles in ukulele. In her spare time she enjoys Circle Dancing and is also on the board of trustees for Sound Sense, the Professional Association for Community Musicians. She is delighted to have recently moved back to Salisbury, after a very long time in London.

Mycal Miller


Mycal has been a trainer for many years, although he first started work in film and TV production after completing a law degree. He continues to combine training and production, and has produced a range of multimedia materials and dementia training videos, including ‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’, ‘Remember Me’, ‘Sahara Lo’ and ‘Tomorrow is Another Day’. He also previously worked for Samaritans as London regional training officer, devising and delivering training. Mycal has worked with a wide range of learners in dementia care, including care staff, managers, nurses, volunteers, family carers and people with dementia. He is particularly interested in helping people develop good communication skills. In training, he promotes a ‘learner centred approach’.

Clare Morris

livingwithdementia.uk and claremorris.org.uk

Clare Morris has a background in Speech & Language Therapy and is a UKCP registered psychotherapist who has worked with people with dementia and their families for 25 years.  Personal Construct Psychology is the theoretical underpinning for her work, a creative approach to understanding how people in any context make sense of events. PCP assists in standing in the shoes of a person experiencing progressive and fluctuating cognitive impairment and helps us to look at what it is that links the wide range of creative approaches to intervening and communicating with people with dementia.  In addition to training professionals from health, organisational and business settings in the application of PCP, Clare is involved in developing therapeutic approaches for people with dementia and their families, currently exploring the role of yoga for people who have cognitive impairment and their caregivers. She has a counselling and psychotherapy practice, providing both a generic service and a specialist service for people affected by all forms of acquired brain injury and their families. 

Nuala Nagle

Nuala joined Dementia Pathfinders in December 2015. Nuala qualified as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist (DMP) in September 2014, graduating from her Masters at Goldsmiths University of London after training from 2011-2015 while also working part time as a Specialist Occupational therapist in the field of Neurology, where she continues to work. Nuala completed her BSc Hons in Occupational Therapy in 2007 in Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, Scotland. She worked in Scotland as an Occupational Therapist from 2007-2011. From both her professional backgrounds Nuala has gained a breadth of experience working with people from diverse backgrounds, all age groups and with a range of conditions including Learning Disability, Mental ill Health (including a six month honorary contract in forensicmental health as a DMP), Physical and Neurological conditions. Nuala has also worked internationally as a volunteer for dance and Arts based Projects.

In September 2012 Nuala initiated a 10 day programme entitled “Dance & Arts for Health and Well-Being” in association with charity J.E.L.A Foundation (based in U.K & Haiti). Nuala ran successful fundraisers in New Cross London and has served as a volunteer coordinating and running the programme in Limbe Haiti. Nuala also seized the opportunity to present about this project at United Nations conference ‘Commission for the Status of Women’ (Eliminating Violence against Women) in New York in March 2013. Nuala has continued to runthis programme annually until the present.

Nuala believes in the transformative nature of dance and the Arts which help to integrate the connection between our bodies, our minds and our spirits. From Nuala’s perspective dance/movement has the potential to enable individuals and groups to express their unique identity, communicate and relate to others and through this to experience a greater sense ofbelonging to their communities.

Julia Patton

Julia brings to her training a wealth of practical experience and knowledge having owned and operated a domicilary care business, managed care homes in Sydney and London and worked in a managerial role within social services in large local authorities.  As a registered general nurse Julia’s interest focused on older people, especially those living with dementia.  Having achieved qualifications in adult learning, dementia care and compassion Julia chose to become a freelance trainer and consultant, is an active Dementia Friends Champion and facilitator with My Home Life.

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips Training

Mike is a freelance trainer, facilitator, consultant and coach who is passionate about releasing potential through learning and development. He has delivered training across London, the UK and internationally using diverse interactive training techniques which build upon adult learning, brain-friendly and accelerated learning principles. Since establishing a charity in Wales, he has primarily worked in the voluntary sector in health and social care (including HIV, mental health and dementia) in various management and senior management roles. He specialises in a range of topics related to dementia care, including: management, leadership and team-building; personal effectiveness; HR, learning and development; communication skills; working with diversity.

Julia Pitkin

Dementia Sense

Julia trained as an occupational therapist and has a post graduate Certificate in Dementia Studies. She is the UK’s first certified Validation Trainer in Dementia Care, completing her training in Pennsylvania, USA. Her decision to specialise in dementia care was influenced by her work as a quality care auditor for a private sector accreditation company and for the former National Care Standards Commission, where she identified training needs for staff caring for people living with dementia in care homes. Her specialist interest and passion is in person-centred listening and communication, having recently made a training film called ‘Conversations that Matter: breaking through dementia’. Julia lives in a corner of rural Shropshire with chickens, dogs, alpacas and wifi.

Penny Redwood

Vision for Dementia

Penny has worked in the social care field for over 30 years, as a qualified social worker, team manager and project manager. She project-managed award winning teams for the Dementia Services Collaborative and POPPS programme in Leeds, including running projects to hear the voice of people with dementia about services they were receiving. Penny now works as an independent educator and trainer, having set up her own company called Vision for Dementia; she is particularly interested in the combination of sight impairment and dementia. She provides independent user evaluations of services and is a WRAP facilitator. When not working, Penny enjoys walking and cycling in Yorkshire where she lives.

Mandy Ross

Secret City Arts

Mandy has written over 60 children’s books. Twice shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate, Mandy also writes poetry and plays.

Mandy has worked on Reading for Well-Being since 2009 in mental health settings with Polly Wright of the Hearth Centre, reading aloud from poetry and fiction, and creative writing in response. She has developed creative projects using reading and other artforms with older adults in community, residential and care home settings.

Mandy was recently lead artist on Something Good, working with Birmingham Cathedral writing with diverse faith and community groups around the city. She has wide experience of creative writing teaching with children and adults in community and schools settings.

Mandy is artistic co-director of Secret City Arts www.secretcityarts.com and enjoys cross-fertilising writing in projects with music, drama and other art forms. She has worked with Mac, CBSO, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Libraries, Ledbury and Much Wenlock Poetry Festivals, Birmingham Museums Trust and she has taught at Birmingham and Newman Universities and BCU.

Marina Rova


Marina Rova is a dance movement psychotherapist and researcher based in London. Her extensive professional experience has been shaped by her teaching career in dance education, her clinical practice in community and NHS mental health settings and her independent consultancy work. Specialist client groups include older adults living with dementia, adult psychiatry and perinatal mental health services. Marina developed her clinical work with elders working in day centres, acute mental health, continuing care units for dementia and end of life care. She is a Certified Dementia Care Mapper (Bradford Dementia Group) and has received extensive training on creative approaches in dementia and person-centered care.

Marina recently completed a practice-based PhD (2012-2016, University of Roehampton Psychology Department) researching kinaesthetic empathy as a clinical intervention, combining the fields of dance movement psychotherapy, phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience.

Annie Stevenson

Integration in Care: Annie Stevenson

Annie Stevenson has extensive experience in all aspects of care from commissioning and care management to policy and front line provision with all user groups. She now runs her own consultancy called Integration in Care. This is facilitating people and sectors in care to connect and collaborate to improve effectiveness and efficiency in organisations, without costing anything, whilst enhancing user and staff experience.

Starting work in residential care led to becoming a hospital social worker where she specialised in dementia and older people early in her career. In the voluntary sector she was with the Abbeyfield Society, and was Help the Aged’s care homes Senior Policy Adviser. There she focused on campaigning for quality in care. She co-founded and co-produced the My Home Life initiative which has become a recognised movement to improve quality of life in care homes. Building on her national expertise on older people, she brought this to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (Scie) as Head of Older People’s Services. Recent work includes CQC, Carers UK and a number of councils inluding L.B Southwark, Buckinghamshire and now Milton Keynes implementing the My Home Life Integrated Care Strand. She is a trustee for the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) and has written numerous articles. She is passionate about the need for changing attitudes to ageing, dementia and improving the quality of life for older people wherever they live.

Suki Turner

Suki started dancing at the age of three and after graduating she taught in many schools and colleges including RADA, Bird College and Mountview Theatre school to name just a few. Her professional work includes West End musical productions, films, national tours and regional repertory plays.

Since retiring from the theatre to bring up her two sons, Suki opened CentreStage Dance and Drama, teaching children from 3 years to adults, intermingling teaching with adjudicating festivals and being Head of Drama in a prep school!

In 2015 Suki was chosen to be an ambassador for the Royal Academy of Dance, using the Academy’s method of Dance for Life Long Well Being, teaching various styles of dance for older learners, including participants living with dementia and Parkinsons. She is also a Level 2 instructor for Wheelchair dancing.  Suki can be found teaching in various care and retirement establishments as well as at the Royal Academy.

Suki’s expertise allows her to teach both seated and non-seated learners in a fun but challenging way.

Polly Wright

Polly is a writer, academic, performer and the artistic director of the Hearth Centre. www.thehearthcentre.org.uk, which she set up in 2003 and which harnesses the transformative potential of the literary and dramatic arts to raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote well being in the field of mental health.

In the 1980s she was a professional actress, and founder member of the theatre company Women and Theatre, after which, as the Artistic Director of Hearth, she has been the sole author of eight plays, all of which have been professionally produced in partnership with Birmingham Rep., the Midlands Arts Centre, SHOUT LGBT arts festival and the Drum.

Polly is also a member of the Tindal Street Fiction group, and has published six short stories to date. (Tindal St and Diva Presses). Her latest story Seagulls in Sparkhill was published in a new anthology to celebrate 30 years of the Tindal St fiction group in autumn 2013. She also lectures in medical humanities and arts based methods at Birmingham University Medical School; is on the international panel of the academic journal Arts and Health (Routledge) and has published articles on the role of the arts in participatory research.

Over the last five years, and in partnership with Mandy Ross, The Hearth Centre has pioneered Reading for well Being, which links reading aloud to creative writing, in order to promote mental well-being and reduce stigma, in a process of shared creativity and reflection through literature. Mandy and Polly have delivered training in the method to approximately 800 NHS and library staff, and have also delivered the method directly to a wide range of people in the community, including mental health service users and the elderly.