Gwen Oates, Leeds & York Partnership Foundation Trust / Alzheimer’s Society
Gwen is based in the Health & Social Care Team at Armley Moor. She has been a Memory Support Worker since 2015, having previously worked on developing Leeds Dementia Cafes and singing groups.
Gwen’s role is to support people with all forms of dementia and memory problems, whether or not they have been diagnosed with dementia. Her overall hope and aim is to help people overcome their fears, get a diagnosis and to support families too. Gwen introduces people to activities (such as Remember Thursdays at Bramley Lawn) which will help them and supports people to find sustainable ways to keep going to those activities. She also has a wider role, raising awareness about dementia with staff at GP surgeries, community groups and general public.
Gwen’s job is never the same. She loves meeting different people through her work, finding out what might help them to be happy and getting “little nuggets of knowledge from people who have been there and done it”. As she says: “You never know what richness people are going to share.”
There are plenty enough challenges to keep Gwen on her toes. Sometimes it’s frustrating to go through the necessary processes when she would like to get things done quickly and she also wishes she had more capacity in order to help people with what they need.
Gwen has worked and lived in Leeds almost all of her life, and has worked in the West Leeds area for about 5 years. In her spare time Gwen likes walking and being outdoors, writing poetry and reading biographies.
People needing support can reach Gwen through referrals from their GP, BEA or the West Leeds PEP (Patient Empowerment Project).