Dementia, Diversity and the Arts: speaker biogs

About our Guest Speakers

Picture of Mike Clarke from the Alzheimers Society

Mike Clarke, Alzheimer’s Society / Independent Age

Our host for the event is Mike Clarke, Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Independent Age, and until recently EDI Manager at Alzheimer’s Society. | Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Alzheimer’s Society

picture of Mary Kennedy

Dr Mary Kennedy

Mary is a mental health nurse with many years’ experience working in the NHS. During her career  she held a variety of roles before leaving in 2016 to join the School of Health & Social Care at the University of Essex as a part-time lecturer.

She has a wide range of clinical, research and academic experience and in leading service development and innovation. She has published reports and articles on a range of topics and contributed books chapters on subjects related to nursing and mental health.

Her specific interest is dementia care and in developing services to improve the delivery of care for people with dementia and their families.  Within the University she has led on the development of dementia education for health and social care practitioners in the NHS and the private sector.

Mary is currently the Lead for Service User Engagement in the School and has a particular interest in the  role of creative arts in dementia education and the use of storytelling to improve healthcare outcomes.

Picture of Art Prashar

Arti Prashar: artist, director and producer

Arti stepped down as Spare Tyre’s Artistic Director/CEO in August 2019 after inspirational and acclaimed leadership for 19 years. She developed inclusive creative practice championing diverse voices. She is at the forefront of immersive sensory theatre practice for people living with dementia and learning disabled people. She has a strong commitment to collaborative theatre with values based on fundamental human rights.

Tonic Award 2020 (inclusion and diversity)
Winston Churchill Fellow 2013 (spirituality, dementia and ageing)
Research Fellow at the Centre of Contemporary Theatre at Birkbeck University.
Trustee for Collective Encounters and Creative Youth

T: @artiprashar

Spare Tyre Theatre – Arti Prashar’s Love Unspoken

A picture of Ronald Amaze, who will be talking at our event Dementia, Diversity and the Arts

Ronald Amanze

Ronald, founder of Talk Dementia, is a Black Dementia Champion with the Alzheimer’s Society, a Dementia Diarist with DEEP, an Ambassador for The Stroke Association, and a Trustee of Arts 4 Dementia. He is working to ensure there is better provision for the diverse communities in dementia service and more involvement from diverse communities in dementia research. A musician and music producer by background he is passionate about the role of creativity in improving the quality of life experience for all living with dementia.

In 2013 Ronald had a stroke which resulted in a brain injury and in 2015 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Following a long period of recovery with the support of Headway, along with various social workers and the Alzheimer’s Society, Ronald has learned to manage his health concerns and now he is committed to championing health awareness using the medium of music and creative expression.

Ronald Amanze talks to Alzheimer’s Society about music and dementia

About our Roundtable Hosts

Sade Fadipe

Sade Fadipe is a notable Children’s Book Author, a Primary Curriculum Specialist and Microsoft Education Provider. As an educator within the mainstream sector, her fascination for picture books grew shortly after meeting Quentin Blake: an acclaimed author/illustrator. Sade’s bi-cultural identity weaves through the realistic-fiction she creates. Aware, few will ever have the opportunity of visiting Africa, she unapologetically celebrates and introduces both the diaspora-African and non-African child to the music, food, culture, family bonds Africans experience, via literature.  Sade’s books can be found on:

It took a complete stranger questioning Sade’s interest in elderly relatives and why they tend to play significant roles in her stories. Reflecting inwards, she found a complete opposite to the exuberant vibrance she portrays: forcing her to come to terms with the deep sadness experienced as a child, whilst caring for a grandmother who suffered progressively with dementia and sight loss. She recalls that she was left fearful of anyone elderly. So, it is really no surprise that she attempts facing childhood fears through her fiction.

Ian Wilson, Dementia Activities Coordinator, NetPark Wellbeing
Arts & Southend Borough Council Mental Health Project

Ian Wilson is the Dementia Activities Coordinator for NetPark Wellbeing. He originally came to the project as an Alzheimer’s Society volunteer in May 2016 and subsequently joined the project as a full-time volunteer assisting across all the mental health groups. He was nominated for the British Citizens Awards for Volunteering in January 2019 and received the BCA for healthcare medal and certificate at the Houses of Parliament. In March 2019 Ian was employed by Metal and Southend Borough Council. This further led to employment at Southend Adult Community College as a tutor running an afternoon dementia art class. The project has reached the final five of the National Dementia Care Awards in three of the last four years and was runner up in the Guardian Advancing Healthcare Awards 2017.

Shuhala Abbas, Dementia Support Worker in east London

Shuhala Abbas worked for Alzheimer’s Society since 2004 with a short break from the society in 2016. She wanted to use her dementia knowledge, and her passion to support people brought her back in 2018. In a recent article for Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Together Magazine, Shuhala identifies ‘Cracks in the system’ and talks about Dementia, coronavirus and diverse communities. The majority of families she works with in Redbridge are from the Bangladeshi community, and in her opinion face specific challenges in getting dementia support, because of cultural issues and deprivation. Read the full article here

Pradip Mistry, Chair of Thurrock Dementia Action Alliance
international speaker, writer and new lifestyle coach

Pradip Mistry is an international speaker, writer, and new life style coach. He is founder of unique wholistic approach to self discovery. He works with Professionals, Pre and Post-Retirees, supporting them to rediscover their hidden talents and deepest desires to manifest. During the past 30 years, Pradip has gained experience of working with Pensions administrators, resolving real retiree issues within large and medium companies, supporting retiring business entrepreneurs and Pensions Management Trustee organisations. Pradip is authentic with a genuine passion to support individuals and their partners to tap into their greatness and create beautiful life full of passion and purpose.