Hazel joined Dementia NI as the Southern Trust area Empowerment Officer in 2019. 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.