About Essex Dementia Care

Essex Dementia Care was founded in 2006 by occupational therapist, Dr Tessa Perrin, in response to the lack of support for families living with dementia in Essex.

Maintaining a positive engagement with all the valued activities of daily life is critical for good health, this belief forms the core of everything we do at EDC.

The ultimate aim of EDC is to contribute to the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia to continue to live active and fulfilling lives. We work closely with families throughout Essex to ensure that their family members are enabled to live at home for as long as possible. We provide care for people living with dementia whilst also providing respite, emotional support and education for their main care-givers.

We are constantly evaluating and developing our services to meet the needs of the families we help. EDC provides support through both One2One care and our communal  activity centres in Bradwell, Braintree, Sandon, Chelmsford and Broomfield Chelmsford providing care and support for those with dementia and their carers.

“Essex Dementia Care are a really caring group of people. They’re not like other services where they just sit and talk to you for an amount of time, they understand dementia much more, I notice the different so much”
– Wife of client

Our Team

At the head of the team is Senior Manager, Kelly, who has a Diploma in Dementia Care amongst other qualifications and years of hands on experience.

Care Manager, Sharon also has years of experience in providing activities for people with dementia.

Our Practitioners are both skilled and caring as they respond to an individual’s wishes , treating them with dignity and helping them to enjoy their time together. They are supported by a training programme of refresher sessions and other related training days.

Kelly Bleasdale

Senior Manager

Kelly has 17 years experience  working with older people and people with dementia. Kelly has worked for Essex Dementia Care for the past 9 years . Kelly holds a level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health &  Social Care,  level 3 Diploma in Dementia, NVQ 2 & 3 in Health & Social Care and Level 2 NAPA Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care. Kelly is the current registered Manager for Essex Dementia Care.

Sharon Jones

Care Manager

Sharon has worked for 18 years with older people and people with dementia, and has a particular expertise in delivering therapeutic activities in the care setting. Sharon has worked for Essex Dementia Care for 9 years. Sharon holds her level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health & Social Care.  NVQ level 2 in Health & Social Care, NVQ level 2 Dementia Care and also the level 2 NAPA Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care. Sharon is responsible for referral assessments, client and family support as well as service reviews.

Chris Jullings


I have been a Trustee with Essex Dementia Care ( EDC) since 2015. Before retiring , I worked in the private sector as Director, Human Resources. I am professionally qualified and am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I have over 7 years experience of being a charity Trustee , I also provide business development advice to charities through my association with the Cranfield Trust. Like many people, my first encounter with dementia was when a family member developed the condition and I experienced first hand the heartbreak of a loved one slowly being changed by the disease. Perhaps the greatest gift we can bring in these circumstances is a stimulus that helps our loved one feel reassured and present again. We can shine light into their darkness. EDC shines light every day through its activity centres and through its more tailored one to one activity. I am very proud that we are able to bring happiness and hope to those suffering from dementia and that we are able to support the many loved ones who care for them. I feel privileged to be a part of the Trustee Board that guides and supports the wonderful work that the EDC staff and volunteers do to enrich the lives of those suffering with dementia.

April Lawlor


April has worked in the field of adult social care for nearly forty years and has extensive experience of residential care, day and community support services. April is a qualified social worker and previously worked for Essex County Council as a commissioner with a lead for dementia services. April has been a Trustee with Essex Dementia Care since its inception in 2006.

Mike Clements


I retired in 2012 having worked in the Group Finance department of a FTSE 250 company for nearly 40 years. I am a qualified accountant and have held roles as Planning Accountant, Tax Accountant, Financial Control Manager and Group Pensions accountant. I was first appointed as a Trustee in 2003 of a Pension Fund and a Healthcare Plan, with added responsibility for preparing the accounts. Before retiring I was also asked to became an initial Trustee and help with the set up of an Educational Trust charity. Although I have no social care experience to bring to the table, I do have over 15 years in-depth experience of Trustee boards management and  Finance. I have been a Trustee of Essex Dementia care since 2015, and thoroughly enjoy working with my fellow trustees and the totally dedicated staff to ensure that support is given to dementia sufferers and carers. In my spare time I go fishing, watching football and drinking real ale as well as looking after my 2 grandchildren.


Julie Chanel


My name is Julie, I am proud to be a trustee of Essex Dementia Care. I feel I can add value to the trustee board because I have a good understanding of dementia and the journey people go on.  I work in a sales and marketing role in care and have been supporting people to move their loved one, often living with dementia, into care homes for nearly ten years, I enjoy helping families to make the best decision possible.

Having supported my own mother who lived with dementia, I really can understand and empathise with the family members who are looking for ways to support their loved one on their dementia journey, the services Essex Dementia Care offers are invaluable.

I am a Dementia Champion and enjoy delivering Dementia Friends Information Sessions. I feel very passionate about supporting people living with dementia and their families. I know there are huge benefits to being in a supportive community filled with love, companionship and kindness.

Katie Gauden

Katie Gauden


I have worked for almost 20 years in PR and Marketing roles for a variety of private sector clients. I also ran the PR launch for the very first organisation to offer alternative charitable gifts in the form of the Good Gifts Catalogue, securing coverage across national publications, radio and TV. As well as a Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing under my belt, I’ve held Account Director positions within award-winning PR agencies; headed up a marketing department for a nationwide construction firm; and undertaken the role of Chair of a previous employer’s Charitable Trust. After starting a family, I made a successful move into freelance consulting and I continue to work on marketing and PR projects for a mix of clients today.

I’m delighted to have an opportunity to apply my skills to a local charitable cause. My hope is to help Essex Dementia Care improve on their ability to shout about their great work. This small but mighty charity makes a big positive impact on those that they help and has the potential to help so many more families in Essex who experience dementia. If you think you can support EDC through fundraising, volunteering or simply getting the word out about their services, then we’d love to hear from you.

Mhairi Donaldson


I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with 20 years post-qualification experience in the NHS.  I trained at the University of Leeds from where I gained my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2002.   I have a special interest in older people’s mental health and dementia and have specialised clinically in the psychology of older people since 2004.

I have held positions in NHS trusts in Scotland and Essex, including as Head of Service for Older People’s Psychology in Essex between 2010 and 2018.  I have also had a long involvement with the Faculty of Psychology of Older People in the British Psychological Society, of which I was chair between 2019 and 2021.

I am a passionate advocate of age equality and have a particular interest in understanding behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Anita South


A wealth of experience gained by working in a variety of organisations is proven by her business acumen and administrative skills which are an asset in providing support to the running of the charity.

Mark Hinson


Mark started working for Essex Dementia Care in 2012. Mark also works as a Dementia Care Support Worker on a one2one basis as well as working with Essex Dementia Care . Mark has completed NCFE Level 2 in The Principles of Dementia Care and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. Mark leads one of our Activity Centres and comes with a range of skills and has recently learnt to play the guitar. Mark is very client focused and always aims to achieve the best possible outcome for the clients he supports.

Nancy Richardson


Nancy has worked for Essex Dementia Care since May 2013. She is one of our Activity Leaders at our Every Day Counts groups. She is a professional artist and also works delivering therapeutic activity for people in a residential setting. Nancy is a singer and musician which adds to the uplifting atmosphere at our groups. Nancy has an NVQ Level 2 in Health & Social Care,  an NCFE level 2 in Dementia Awareness and a Level 2 NAPA Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care. Nancy is passionate within her role and brings lots of fun and energy to the centres.

Eve Payne


Eve has worked at Essex Dementia Care since October 2014. She is currently an Activity Centre Leader and also works one2one with clients in the community. Eve has previously  worked as an Activity coordinator in a Care home. Eve holds an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care and an NCFE Level 2 in The Principles of Dementia. Eve brings a sense of fun wherever she goes and is a keen fundraiser. She has run and assisted The Southend Pier sponsored walk and the Braintree carnival. Eve fully understands the need to provide activities and has seen the positive results to overall well being.

Vicki Barnes


Vicki  joined Essex Dementia Care  in July 2015 and previously was working as  an activity coordinator in a care home. She has completed  a level 3 health & Social Care diploma and works in our activity centres and One2one in the community. Vicki shows empathy for those who are living with dementia and enjoys giving guidance and encouraging them to achieve  their goals, whilst having fun and living their life to the maximum.