Biography

Julia joined PenPEG in January 2021. Prior to this she was a secondary school teacher, a senior A level examiner and text book author. She is still involved with A level qualifications and has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society for 15 years and was a lead volunteer at a Memory Cafe. She has been involved in various research projects funded by the society, reviewing grants, monitoring funded projects and sitting on the Care and Public Health Grant panels and boards.

She is enthusiastic about people with lived experience contributing to research at all stages from generating ideas to dissemination and implementation. Her interest in dementia stemmed from her mother having dementia and one of her sons being a neuroscientist engaged in research. She also has an interest in gastric problems, diverticular disease, deafness and Women’s Health issues.

She is married with three children and eight grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 24. She enjoys painting, going out with friends, walking, pilates and line dancing and is a founding member of 2 reading groups.

Research experience

Julia is currently monitoring 2 Alzheimer’s Society funded projects at UCL:

  • Developing strategies to support reaching and coordination for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease at UCL Dementia Research Institute
  •  Exploring and meeting the needs of Black African and Caribbean elders with dementia and their family carers: a qualitative study EMBRACE at UCL Department of Psychiatry.

Another project Improving treatment of dementia with comorbidities at Exeter was completed in the summer of 2020.

Julia has been involved from start to finish with a recently published piece of research entitled Caring About Care, focusing on understanding and improving the hospital experience for people with dementia and was one of the team to appear on BBC Spotlight describing the programme from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

Julia is a PPI member of the PMG for an NIHR funded Pen/ARC Ageing, Dementia and Frailty programme and attend monthly video meetings.

She has recently started as a volunteer to make Companion Calls to people with dementia who feel especially isolated in COVID conditions.