Volunteer stories

Read the stories of those participating in dementia research; find out about their experiences and what first inspired them to take part in a research study.

Taking part in dementia research: John’s story

30 April 2024

After John Hyde was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia aged just 59, he had to retire from his job as a handyman. He immediately wanted to learn more about his condition and find ways to help others affected, so he signed up to Join Dementia Research. Frontotemporal dementia is a relatively uncommon form of dementia that […]

Remembering Wendy Mitchell

23 February 2024

We would like to pay tribute to our friend Wendy Mitchell who sadly passed away this week. Wendy was known and loved by many for her resilience and for her candid insights into what it is like to live with dementia. She defied the odds by writing three books – including Sunday Times bestsellers – […]

Why you should get involved in dementia research: Rianna’s story

22 September 2023

A Sussex woman has spoken about losing her grandfather to dementia and how this inspired her to get involved in research. Rianna Patterson, of Hastings, lost her grandfather, Terry Vidal, to dementia in 2013. Following his death, she has been involved in dementia research. This included working with a National Institute for Health and Care […]

Former PCSO volunteers for dementia research after diagnosis

26 July 2023

A former Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) has spoken about how volunteering for studies through Join Dementia Research has given him a sense of purpose after his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.  Peter Middleton from Northamptonshire was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, aged 64.  Diagnosis Peter said: “I had been a Police Community Support […]

Taking part in dementia research: Mary’s story

28 June 2023

Mary Stewart-David, a writer and consultant narratologist from South London, spoke movingly about her mother’s dementia diagnosis and how this inspired her to get involved in research.  Mary said: “I got involved in research as a volunteer because I saw my mother through dementia. I am aware that it might affect me in the future. […]

Ten years in dementia research: Geoff and Susie’s story

17 May 2023

A husband and wife who received a dementia diagnosis in 2013 made a decision shortly after to take part in research to regain a sense of control. Ten years on and they are still embarking on trials, saying the experience has left them feeling empowered, supported and resilient.  Diagnosis Geoff Fenwick formerly worked as a […]

Research Champion Wendy Mitchell

3 March 2023

Research Champion and Sunday Times best-selling author Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with young onset dementia at the age of 58. Wendy, who was an NHS Manager for 20 years until 2015 recalls: “I was coming out of my office one day and I didn’t know who I was or who all the people around me […]