Dr Elizabeth Anderson trained as a research psychologist, specialising in dementia in the late 1990’s when she completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Prior to founding The Memory Tree she worked as a Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford (2002 – 2008) and then as a freelance Dementia Care Trainer (2008 – 2011). Elizabeth was motivated to leave her professional work because she felt there was a lack of knowledge in local communities that was contributing to people feeling under-confident when it came to supporting their neighbours or friends living with dementia.To find out whether she could use her knowledge to help Elizabeth worked voluntarily in her local community during 2011 to meet people with dementia and their carers, find out about their needs and the gaps in local service provision; the main gap was for what we have called a Memory Club – a place where the person with dementia and the carer could go together but still get some time apart.
Bob is a plumber by trade but, having had to take early retirement for health reasons, has been working with older people in the Bradford area for over 10 years. Bob met Elizabeth through his voluntary work in 2011 and helped to build our community work enabling us to found the organization in 2012. Bob is ‘Bradford born and bred’ and loves his home city and the people who live here. Bob’s very extensive knowledge of life in Bradford is the foundation of our reminiscence work and he is the lead for our Memory Support programme and for local community engagement. Bob has undertaken a number of other voluntary roles with older people in the Bradford area, including the Home from Hospital scheme run by Carers’ Resource, befriending and being a volunteer driver for the Volunteer Centre Bradford and the Alzheimer’s Society and running activity sessions and visiting people at Holmeview in Holme Wood.
Andrea joined the Memory Tree team in 2014 and agreed to become our third director in 2015. Andrea’s main role is to help with fundraising and governance and to provide practical help at our Clubs as and when she is needed. During the past 12 months Andrea’s main role has been to help us develop the shoppers’ respite service (A Little Respite and Reminiscence) that we have been commissioned to run by Dementia Friendly Keighley.