Leading figure in dementia care and research wins national award

Ian Sherriff BEM, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at the University of Plymouth has won a National Dementia Friendly Award in the category ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’.

The winners were announced at the prestigious awards ceremony that took place in London on Wednesday 27 November, where Sun journalist and Loose Women panellist, Jane Moore, hosted the ceremony.

Ian was one of three finalists in the category Outstanding Contribution of the Year. This judge’s choice award is for an individual, team or organisation, which has made an outstanding contribution to the lives of those affected by dementia, based on nominations in the other award categories.

Ian is a leading figure in dementia care and research nationally and internationally and a long-standing Alzheimer’s Society volunteer. He has established a dementia friendly community, and sits on and chairs various boards, committees and groups that support and involve people affected by dementia.

He is Chair of the Prime Minister’s Rural Dementia Group (2015 to date), and a member of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Communities Challenge Group (2013 to date), chairing the South West and South of England group. Internationally, as Chair of the Dementia Air Transport Group (2016–2020), he has worked with the Civil Aviation Authority, the aviation industry and people with dementia to introduce new CAA guidelines (2016) currently being implemented by all UK airports and airlines to assist passengers with hidden disabilities.

His work also includes the Academic Dementia Global Group, which sees dementia teams from across the world meet up via video link to share ideas, challenges and best practice to improve the provision of dementia care. 

Ian said:

“Winning the Outstanding Contribution Award feels very humbling and also reflects a team effort really of everyone I’ve worked with across the globe. I’m just the front piece for the work that is going on at the University of Plymouth but also around the country and around the world. Alzheimer’s Society, since its birth, has marched forward on the knowledge and experience of people with dementia and their carers and where the Society is today is amazing, especially when you think it was started by four people sitting around a kitchen table.”

Dementia is the 21st century’s biggest killer. Someone develops the condition every three minutes – but too many face it alone. Alzheimer’s Society’s 2019 Dementia Friendly Awards recognise, celebrate and promote the inspirational achievements of those uniting to making a real difference to people living with dementia.

Awards host, TV presenter and journalist, Jane Moore, said:

“I’m delighted to have hosted this year’s Dementia Friendly Awards 2019 in London. This year’s awards celebrated individuals, organisations and communities leading and inspiring a change that will transform the lives of people living with dementia across the country forever, challenging misunderstandings, changing attitudes and taking action. My own mother-in-law had dementia so I understand what a heart-breaking condition it can be, stripping people of their memories. All of the winners and nominees have done incredible and inspiring work to help people living with dementia and they should all be incredibly proud.”

Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society said:

“It is amazing that Ian has won the Outstanding Contribution of the Year Award and it is a testament to his tremendous dementia-friendly work.

“The level of nominations received this year was truly phenomenal and there were some exceptional stories heard at the awards ceremony. There are over 441 Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland ensuring people with dementia are empowered to live a life they. All the finalists and winners at the Dementia Friendly Awards have demonstrated how we can unite against dementia and support those affected by the condition.”

This year there were ten awards in categories for Trailblazer of the Year, Dementia Friendly Community, Dementia Friends Champion, Dementia Friendly Organisation (Small/Medium), Dementia Friendly Organisation (Large), Inspiring Young Person, Youth Organisation, Championing Diversity and 40th Anniversary - Lifetime Achievement. Details of the awards, including a full list of winners for the different categories, can be found online at alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlyawards.  

Biography: Ian Sherriff

Ian is the Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at the University of Plymouth. He is a founder member of the University's Dementia Group whose research to date includes 'Early Diagnosis of Dementia in Plymouth' Dementia Quality Mark for Residential care, Evaluation of day opportunities provided by the Voluntary and Private sector for individuals with dementia and their carers, evaluation of residential care in Torbay 2015.

Ian is a member of the Prime Minister's Dementia Friendly Communities Challenge Group 2015/16/17/18; his role on this group is chair of the South and South West of England. Ian is the chair of the Prime Minister's Task and Finish group for Rural Dementia 2015/16/17/18. He is the driving force behind the six successful Plymouth International Dementia Conferences.

Ian is also in great demand as a keynote speaker at national and International conferences on dementia.

Ian is part of the core team investigating how to introduce dementia support workers into GP surgeries

The ultimate aim of the £2.7 million project is to improve the quality of life for dementia patients and their carers.

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