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    Monday – Friday 9:00 – 5:00

    Our Team

    Emma Smith (MSc, BA)Project Manager
    I have over 20 years’ experience of project start-up, project management and delivery gained across the environmental and health and social care sector in Manchester and Salford.

    I am passionate about investing my energy, time and enthusiasm in to the third sector and I’m proud to work and live in Salford. For the past 10 years I have directed my career towards working more and more with people affected by dementia. For the last 8 years this work has focused on being the Project Management for Empowered Conversations with Age UK Salford.

    Director – Empower You – supporting disabled people and those around them to lead more active lives.

    Phil McEvoy (PhD, RMN)Empowered Carers Facilitator
    In 30 years of work as a Mental Health Nurse I have worked across the full range of services in primary and secondary care, as a front line clinician and manager. Throughout this time I have maintained active research interest, which focuses upon the development of relationally centred approaches to service delivery, based on the psychodynamically informed principles care. For the last 10 years I was the Managing Director of Six Degrees Social Enterprise where we developed and piloted Empowered Conversations and Empowered Carers.
    • Member of INTERDEM pan-European network of researchers collaborating in research on and dissemination of Psychosocial Interventions in Dementia
    • Member of the Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria Clinical Senate
    • Trustee of charity the Transform Research Alliance
    • Author of more than 30 published articles and book chapters
    Amanda Barrell
    Amanda Barrell (Dip Cons, Dip HYP, SNHS Dip – Stress Mgt)Project Facilitator
    I have 30 years’ of professional and personal experience supporting people with various needs and their carers. I am passionate about well-being and ‘living well with dementia’ for both carer and the person living with dementia. I joined the Empowered Conversations team in May 19.

    I am a qualified counsellor and Hypnopsychotherapist. I have worked in a range of settings providing therapeutic interventions in areas such as stress management, weight management and bereavement. I’ve been a team leader for Dementia advisors in Oldham for the last 5 years, providing activities within the community for people living with Dementia and their carers. I was also the co-ordinator of Oldham Dementia Action Alliance. I have lived in Salford all of my life and am very proud to be part of the team and to now both live and work in my home town.

    Dr Margaret Garner (MRCGP, MMedSci child health, MMT (Nordoff Robbins) Music, Health, Society)Facilitator
    I trained as a doctor and have worked in Greater Manchester and Salford for 35 years as a community paediatrician and as a GP, before graduating as a Music Therapist in 2015.

    I now work as a Music Therapist with Aspire at the Humphrey Booth Resource Centre in Swinton, Salford, with carers and people living with dementia. I am supported by a grant from Booth Charities.

    I facilitate courses for Empowered Conversations and run Come and Sing weekly sessions. I am currently developing a related, music and movement centred course – Moving Beyond Words with Barbara and Clare. Qualities of music- pulse, dynamics and phrasing- are also inherent qualities of spoken language. ‘Playing’ with these qualities within music making can illuminate our understanding of other forms of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

    I want to help carers and people living with dementia enhance their communication with each other and sustain their relationships; key factors in improving their quality of life.

    Clare TallisFacilitator
    I am passionate about movement and wellness and to this end taught Physical Education in secondary schools for eight years and led outdoor adventure activities for teenagers in the UK and abroad. More recently I retrained as a Physiotherapist and have worked for the last ten years within the NHS in Stroke rehabilitation. This has allowed my interest and passion for wellbeing in dementia to develop and also made me keenly aware for the need for supportive training such as Empowered Conversations.

    I first discovered the Empowered Conversations course when I took part as a participant in 2017 to support my professional role and also my communication with my own mum who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2015. I immediately understood and experienced at a practical personal level the value of the course. I was delighted to be invited to complete training in order to join the team and deliver the course to others across Greater Manchester.

    Barbara Lewis BA(Hons), PGCEFacilitator

    Barbara Lewis has successfully pursued a number of careers – fashion buyer, Further Education teacher and music teacher – all of which have good communication at their heart. However, she says the two most important jobs she has had are bringing up her two, now grown up, children and caring for her mother after she developed dementia.

    She is currently an entrepreneur developing the range of clothing she designed for her mother to maintain her dignity.

    She came across Empowered Conversations when she was introduced to Emma by a colleague. She related to the philosophy of the Empowered Conversations communications course as it was very much akin to the approach she had taken during her own caring experiences.

    She was absolutely delighted to be approached to train to facilitate the course. She wants to help carers and people living with dementia maintain their relationships through good communication, understanding and empathy.

    As a fellow musician she is also helping Margaret Garner develop the music-centred course, as she used music in many ways with her own mother and is very much convinced that music has a great role to play in communication.

    Judith Bower (Cert Ed, BEng, PGDipHE, MSc.)Empowered Carers Facilitator
    I have a number of skills and experience that I feel would be useful for the project having worked in different roles for Alzheimer’s Society Central Lancashire for 13 years. During this time I worked as an information and awareness officer introducing and expanding charity services within the local NHS mental health services and Age Concern Central Lancashire.

    As a Dementia Adviser, I visited and supported many people living with dementia and their Family Carers within their own homes and in care homes. I was involved with setting up and running Dementia Cafes and Support Groups. I was also an internal trainer bringing a practitioner’s perspective through writing and delivering many courses, including Adaptive Interaction, Progression of Dementia and Complex Needs.

    Karen StonesFacilitator
    I attended a few of the Empowered Conversations courses to support me with my mum, who has Parkinsons and Dementia with Lewy Body disease. I quickly saw just how valuable the content was in helping to understand dementia and how myself, other Carers and their families could continue to connect with the person living with dementia.

    It made such a huge difference being with others in a similar situation. I knew I needed to try and share what I had learned with others affected by dementia. I feel proud to be doing that today as an Empowered Conversations facilitator.

    Vicky Richardson (Counselling and Psychotherapy BSc Hons)Empowered Carers Facilitator
    As a qualified person-centred counsellor, I provide a warm, empathic, and accepting environment, supporting individuals to safely explore their experience and feelings and come to their own understandings and decision-making processes.

    I love the holistic approach of Empowered for the individual, with masses of different support available. Also, and importantly, over the last three to four years, I have been caring for a close family member living with Dementia and have a personal passion around exploring and supporting individuals and families affected by these difficult challenges, to find more peace and connection together.

    Rachel Yates
    Rachel Yates Hoyles Health and Social Care BSc (Hons) and PGCert in Coaching and Mentoring.Project Manager
    Over the last 18 years my passion and work in the charity sector has led me to gain many skills, experience and knowledge in mental health, dementia, and coaching. I’ve worked in a specialized dementia team for many years and also have a family member living with dementia.

    I worked on the Empowered Carers project for 5 years and witnessed the positive impact it has had on so many caregivers and their families. It is an honor and delight to now be a Steering Group Member within the Empowered team.

    Lydia Morris (PhD, ClinPsyD)Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist
    I have over 10-years experience of clinical practice and research in Salford and Greater Manchester. I trained as a Clinical Psychologist (ClinPsyD) and then pursued my increasing interest in research by doing a PhD (both the ClinPsyD and PhD were at the University of Manchester). In the past 6-years I have focused on research developing psychological interventions.
    I am committed to developing helpful interventions that improve services and better meet peoples’ needs. I am excited by the opportunity to use my skills to develop and evaluate the Empowered Conversations approach to meet the needs of those living with dementia and their carers.