Meet Our Team

The team behind Dementia NI are passionate about what they do and the difference they make to the lives of people living with dementia. Find out more about our team.

Clare Watson

Clare Watson

CEO

Clare has more than fifteen years of experience gained in UK-wide organisations including Epilepsy Action, as well Northern Irish organisations such as Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR). An experienced leader, her most recent role as Director of Local Services for Epilepsy Action saw her develop and deliver the work of Epilepsy Action’s local services across the United Kingdom. Supporting a team of staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, over 200 volunteers and over 100 groups to deliver the best possible outcomes in services. Clare is passionate about the development of organisations and people. Her leadership skills and her expertise in supporting people to participate in decisions that affect their lives will shape the future of Dementia NI. Clare’s message is clear “I want to ensure that people with dementia not only have a voice, but that it is listened to, and shapes service delivery to improve the lives of people living with dementia in Northern Ireland. I am excited about leading such a unique organisation and building on the fantastic work that has been done so far.”
Lauren Rea

Lauren Rea

Office Administrator and PA to the CEO

Lauren joined Dementia NI in July 2019 working as part of the fundraising team before moving across to her current role of Office Administrator in January 2020. Lauren’s role within the Dementia NI team is supporting the staff and CEO with managing the Belfast office along with all administrative duties. Lauren also runs several projects including the Short Breaks and Tablet Loan Service. Lauren comes from a predominantly retail and customer service background, specialising in mobile phone and tablet solutions as well as fashion and managing large teams of people. When she moved to Northern Ireland from Cardiff in 2014, she took up her first role within the Charity sector working in administration for another Charity for 5 years before joining Dementia NI. In her spare time Lauren enjoys reading, keeping fit by attending spin classes and spending time with her husband and two daughters. Lauren enjoys her role within Dementia NI as she can meet and work with our Members, as well as offering her previous experience to the job a role which she finds both inspiring and enjoyable.
Stephanie Green

Stephanie Green

Development Manager

Stephanie joined Dementia NI as Development Manager in May 2021. She has 25 years’ experience working in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland, coming originally from a legal background. With a long history in supporting groups to campaign for change, Stephanie is motivated by ensuring that the most vulnerable people have the necessary skills and knowledge to lead campaigns for change. She worked for many years with a Mental Health Rights Group who successfully campaigned for changes including new appointment systems at Emergency Departments, and ensuring families bereaved families were offered support in an appropriate and timely way. Stephanie has also personal experience of caring for a loved one with dementia. ‘’I found my first experiences of meeting members of Dementia NI inspirational – they were so focused on what needs to happen to improve the dementia journey , they have a real urgency to get things done but are also warm, kind and have great senses of humour.’’ In her spare time Stephanie loves walking her dog, travelling and reading or watching crime thrillers.
Ashleigh Davis

Ashleigh Davis

Empowerment Lead (North & East NI)

Ashleigh works at Dementia NI as an Empowerment Officer covering the South Eastern and Belfast Health Trust areas within Northern Ireland and has been in her position since 2015 when Dementia NI was first established. Ashleigh has over 15 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, both in a voluntary and paid capacity. Originally from a Business and Marketing background, Ashleigh has travelled extensively and lived and worked throughout the world. Having returned to Northern Ireland, Ashleigh’s personal interest in dementia led her to further study a Masters degree through University of Stirling, graduating with a MSc in Dementia Studies. Ashleigh’s passion is assisting people with dementia to develop new innovative approaches which support people with dementia to live well with their symptoms within society. She encourages individuals to feel that they still have a purpose in life, that their life still has worth following their diagnosis and that they can still play a valuable and meaningful part in society. Ashleigh has a keen interest in the arts and can often be found working in her garden, travelling the world, or walking her Shetland Sheepdog in the great outdoors.
Hazel Haworth

Hazel Haworth

Empowerment Lead (South & West NI)

Hazel joined Dementia NI as the Southern Trust area Empowerment Officer in 2019 and graduated from the University of Stirling with a distinction grade MSc in Dementia Studies in 2022. She has over 20 years’ experience within the Health and Social Care sector, working with people affected by dementia in Care Home, Hospital and Community settings, as well as personal experience of caring for a loved one with dementia. In 2015 Hazel joined the Charitable Sector, where she developed service delivery and volunteer management skills as the manager of Alzheimer’s Society ‘Side by Side’ service. In this role she worked closely with people living with dementia to deliver a person-centred service that reduced social isolation and loneliness whilst promoting choice and control. Hazel developed skills in recruiting, training, and retaining dynamic teams of volunteers, and is an enthusiastic advocate for volunteer engagement. Hazel joined Dementia NI because she believes in the rights of people living with dementia to lead fulfilling and autonomous lives, having their voices, opinions and expertise heard and recognised. When not working or studying Hazel is a keen gardener and nature lover. She adores spending time outdoors by her koi fishpond, loves to travel, and is very creative.
Karen Kerr

Karen Kerr

Head Of Fundraising

With over 20 years’ experience in the charity sector working for large national organisations like Barnardo’s, NSPCC and the Alzheimer’s Society, Karen wanted to use her skills and knowledge to work with a local charity. Having recently completed a secondment on donor engagement in her previous role, she is passionate about supporters to ensure they enjoy a meaningful and rewarding experience when they choose to support Dementia NI. Having had personal experience of dementia in her own family, Karen recognises the value of our life changing empowerment programmes, putting people living with dementia at the heart of everything we do. The continued kindness and generosity of our supporters enable us to empower people living with dementia across Northern Ireland. Karen commented “Every donation we receive makes a difference in building a more tolerant and understanding society. Your donation makes a difference today and helps people living with dementia shape tomorrow."
Jane Gillow

Jane Gillow

Communications Officer

Jane joined Dementia NI to pursue her passion for comms that connect with and help people. She brings experience as a Communications Manager (maternity) with mental health charity MindWise. Prior to working with charities, Jane became well-versed in digital, print and TV. She was a Content and Marketing Specialist with digital agency Made to Engage where she developed marketing materials for clients including Houses Of Parliament. She also worked as Content Manager at MyNI, an NI Executive project that aimed to make government comms more accessible. Prior to this, Jane's love of human interest stories led to her role as Development Researcher on the Belfast team for BBC flagship show The One Show. She had over 20 VTs commissioned for the show, mainly history stories, on everything from forgotten aviation heroes to unsung female WW2 spies. Jane started as a print journalist in London and was staff Features Writer at top women's magazine Prima for two years. A keen music fan, Jane has had countless reviews published in the music press including Uncut and Hot Press. One of her reviews features in a Routledge Guide called Original Writing which is used in schools to teach A'Level students to write confidently and effectively. Jane has a First-Class MA (Hons) in English Literature from Edinburgh University.