Rachel Carse, Dementia Action Alliance & Social Inclusion Coordinator, Croydon
“I’ve been in my current role in Croydon Council’s public health team since November 2017 and coordinate the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance, work on Carers and making disability everyone’s business at the council. Local authorities play a key role in improving the health of their local population, working in partnership with clinical commissioning groups and other partner organisations.
Previously I was a category manager for learning disabilities, working with providers of learning disability services in the borough. Before that, I was at the Equality and Human Rights Commission where I ran a major learning and development project with the CQC workforce about human rights. Part of my current job is to make Croydon a dementia friendly borough, where everyone across the community is aware of and understands dementia, so that those living with dementia and their carers feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.
My job involves supporting organisations to achieve dementia friendly commitments for their individual organisation to join the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance. In the autumn, the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance will be applying for foundation status, providing regular updates to the Alzheimer’s Society about our progress in order to formally become a ‘dementia friendly borough’.
What I really love about my job is that everyone is really willing to commit to becoming dementia-friendly. I feel that when people talk about working together to achieve dementia-friendly status, they mean it – there’s a real authenticity to what they’re saying. I recently did an awareness session for the CCG’s Governing Body and a colleague invited me to talk to their practice team which is just fantastic. Croydon has such a breadth of communities, all really interested in this issue – I love it!
One of my proudest memories was organising, alongside other members of the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance, a full week of events for Dementia Action Week it was a real privilege to do. At the moment, I’m most excited about knowing how committed the CCG, the Council and the One Croydon Alliance amongst others are to this dementia work.”