Find out more about our Chief Executive, Directors and Board of Trustees, who lead Alzheimer Scotland's vital work.
Chief Executive, Henry Simmons
Henry joined Alzheimer Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2008. He has over thirty years’ experience in the health and social care sector. Henry has spent the majority of his career in the voluntary sector, primarily involved in developing new community-based person-centred services, leading significant campaigns and influencing system redesign and transformation. Henry has worked in both the learning disability and mental health fields.
Over the past fifteen years, Henry has been dedicated to the field of dementia, seeking to improve the rights and opportunities for people living with dementia and their carers in Scotland and beyond. He has been closely involved in the development of new approaches in practice, education, research and policy, as well as leading a national charity that provides direct support to people throughout Scotland and aims to make sure nobody faces dementia on their own. Recent work includes setting up a world leading dementia prevention initiative, Brain Health Scotland.
Henry has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from both Queen Margaret University and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Deputy Chief Executive, Jim Pearson
As Deputy Chief Executive, Jim leads on all of Alzheimer Scotland's public policy engagement. A key aim in Alzheimer Scotland’s strategic plan is to be "the leading force for change". Our public policy work is essentially about transforming the lives of people who live with dementia. The work we do in Public Policy is meaningless unless it has a positive impact on those living with dementia. To that end, all of us can play a part in supporting the work of the public policy team. Its everyone's business and you can help by sharing the knowledge you a have about the experiences, good and bad, of those living with dementia.
Office Bearers & Trustees
Alzheimer Scotland’s Board of Trustees have overall accountability for the charity’s strategy and its activities. They are all volunteers and contribute a huge amount of time and diverse expertise to the organisation.
Convener - Mary-Frances Morris
Mary-Frances spent a number of years at Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, researching anxiety in mainly elderly populations and teaching psychology to undergraduate students of psychology and of medicine. She later studied law at Oxford University (New College). She is a practising Barrister, having been called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2004.
She divided her time between London and Scotland for over a decade to allow her to play a very active part in caring for her parents . Her father suffered from vascular dementia for around 7 years before his death in 2012, almost immediately after which her mother developed the same condition and lived with it for 5 years until her death in 2017, having spent the final 2 years or so of her life living at Mary-Frances‘ family home in London. While this was a personal tragedy, it gave her a great deal of experience of dealing with dementia and everything that goes along with it at very close quarters and has informed her passion for helping the currently ill and their carers as well as looking to the future of dementia care and prevention/cure.
Mary-Frances is the Chair of the Human Rights and Public Policy Advisory Group which helps steer the campaigning arm of the organisation..
Convener - Keith Chapman
Keith is a retired GP and has supported the work of Alzheimer Scotland for over 20 years, including awareness raising, fundraising and cooking at his local Dementia Café. He also has close family experience of dementia. Keith has a keen interest in dementia from a research perspective and participates in the Queen Margaret University Dementia Working Group.
Vice Convener - Tracey Ward
Tracey’s involvement with Alzheimer Scotland started when her mum Pat was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2007. Tracey’s mum and wider family benefited greatly from a number of services throughout her illness and since then, Tracey has supported the charity through various fundraising and other voluntary activities.
Professionally, Tracey is a specialist at Scottish Enterprise where her role involves working with innovative Scottish technology companies, helping them partners and funding in the UK and Europe. She currently leads a programme of work with international partners focused on innovation. She has a particular interest the role of digital technology for health and wellbeing and has worked with a number of companies developing solutions to help people living with dementia.
Treasurer - Bernard O'Hagan
Bernard is a Chartered Accountant, working in private practice for Stevenson & Kyles, Glasgow. He had a very positive caring experience while looking after his mother who had Alzheimers. Bernard is a member of the National Dementia Carers Action Network where he tries to ensure that current and future carers have the same good experience.
Bernard has also spoken at an Alzheimer Europe Association conference in Brussels on the experience of carers advocating policy change in Scotland.
Honorary Secretary - Lorraine Mann
Now retired, Lorraine had a varied career which included teaching, campaigning, research and, most recently, policy and planning in relation to health improvement and adult social care. She holds a Masters degree in Health Improvement.
Having lived and worked in a rural area for the past forty years, Lorraine has a particular interest in the interactions between rurality and service provision, including the provision of health and care services in remote and rural areas.
Lorraine has wide experience of Corporate Governance having been a non-executive Director of NHS Highland in the 1990s and a Member of several Boards of Directors/Trustees over the many years, including several in the voluntary and business sectors and has also has worked as an Alzheimer Scotland volunteer, providing Mentoring support to management staff.
Joanna is a retired Social Worker with over 40 years’ experience in local authority adult services, working primarily in mental health, adult protection and services for older people. She has a particular interest in human rights and equality issues. She was a carer for her mum who had Dementia and is an active member of National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) and the representative of this group on the Board. She campaigns to raise awareness, improve practice and services, and for carers to be seen as equal partners in care. She represented NDCAN on the Fair Dementia Care Commission and has also been involved in training for Dementia Champions and Ambassadors. Joanna is also a panel member in the Childrens Hearing system.
Thomas is a Global Pensions Manager with HSBC and has also been a trustee of a financial services organisation in the past. He has close family experience of dementia and has supported Alzheimer's causes in Ireland for a number of years, before getting involved with Alzheimer Scotland.
Jayne has over 25 years of Human Resources experience and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She currently works with a range of organisations to resolve conflict and enable positive change.
Jayne supports her dad with adjusting to and living with memory loss, and volunteers with another charity to provide bereavement support.
Geoff Orry was born in Kent, the Garden of England and has lived in Scotland since 1969. Diagnosed in 2017 with Vascular Dementia, Geoff has been a member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group since 2018 and is the representative of this group on the Board. At the moment, Geoff is a member of the Scottish Government Dementia lived experience panel giving him the opportunity to share with others, especially those recently diagnosed with Dementia, that life, with a few adjustments, can still be lived to the full!
Geoff’s background and qualifications are in aircraft instrument engineering and computer design engineering with a multi-national corporation. After early retirement he spent 17 years working for a Glasgow charity and was given the task of introducing computer technologies to patients at the, newly opened, Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit. Geoff’s hobbies are water colour painting and building, flying (and repairing!) radio-controlled model aircraft.
Retired now, Thea is busier than ever. She grew up in Ayrshire but has lived most of her life in Edinburgh where she enjoyed a career in Special Education in a school for young people with social and emotional problems and challenging behaviour many of whom had dyslectic type difficulties. Thea continues to diagnose specific learning difficulties and tutor dyslexic students to exam level on a voluntary basis.
Thea’s early retiral was to facilitate being a carer for her mother who had dementia and who required almost full-time care before moving to a nursing home. As a result of her 14 year-long experiences, as a carer of someone with dementia, Thea became a firm supporter of Alzheimer Scotland.
Thea’s first contact with Alzheimer Scotland was using the 24 Hour helpline for advice. Since then, she became involved with many fundraising projects before being invited to join NDCAN in 2014. Thea has actively supported many campaigns and been involved with the Dementia Champions training programmes. More recently, Thea was on the panel for the Alzheimer Scotland Time for You awards. Being able to support the only organisation that supported her family after her mother’s diagnosis of dementia, is a practical way of saying thank you. Being involved in a campaigning organisation whose aim is to make sure that no one faces dementia alone, is an enriching experience which she truly values.
Ruth first engaged with Alzheimer’s support in Yorkshire following her father’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis over thirty years ago. Resident in Edinburgh from the late 1990s, Ruth has travelled to Yorkshire regularly to care for her parents and recently supported her mother’s move to Edinburgh following a dementia diagnosis during 2021.
Having supported both her parents as they progressed through the stages of dementia, Ruth feels a strong desire and motivation to give back and contribute to the work that offers such valuable help and hope to people in similar circumstances.
Ruth’s professional background is in marketing communications. She gained a broad range of creative, commercial and operational skills as a director and then managing director of an Edinburgh-based content marketing agency, Editions Financial, for over two decades. Ruth continues to work as a self-employed strategy consultant and business advisor.
Aileen is an experienced lawyer and governance professional with significant corporate governance, risk and compliance expertise gained from over 30 years in private practice and in-house at financial institutions.
Aileen’s involvement with Alzheimer Scotland stems from lived experience supporting family members and friends diagnosed with different types of dementia, including Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Theresa is an experienced strategic communications professional with 20 years of experience working in media, market research, marketing, external and internal communications, stakeholder engagement as well as digital and user experience, across private, third and public sector in Scotland. She is currently Head of Strategy and Communications at Revenue Scotland.
Theresa became interested in dementia while working at the University of Edinburgh on research communications, public engagement/outreach and on student recruitment for a Masters programmer in person-centred dementia care. Since joining the public sector, Theresa has been committed to involving people with lived experience in the design of accessible services, including people living with dementia, and as such she became a Dementia Friend in 2019.
After her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2020, Theresa has been looking for more ways of supporting the cause such as fundraising and now working with Alzheimer Scotland as a Trustee.