Past and present members of European Working Group of People with Dementia celebrate ten years of achievements


On 10 November, past and current members, as well as supporters and other people involved with setting up the EWGPWD joined an online social event to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the group. Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. He talked about the development of the EWGPWD, which was driven by the initial involvement activities with James McKillop and Peter Ashley. He discussed the invaluable contributions made over the years by the EWGPWD and thanked all current and past members for their strong commitment. The group has participated in many EU research projects and international and European events. This has been crucial to help change perceptions of dementia in Europe, develop better and stronger research, recognise dementia as a disability and combat stigma. He also thanked Helga, Helen and Chris for their work as Chairs, as well as the AE staff for supporting the EWG work.

Helga Rohra then went on to talk about her role as first chair of the EWGPWD. She mentioned feeling very proud of the work carried out by all the members of the group, and grateful for the friendships that she made throughout the experience. Helen Rochford-Brennan expressed that it was an honour for her to be the second Chair of the EWGPWD. She said that she learned a lot from all the members, and gave a special thanks to Helga for helping her take on the role, as well as to Carmel Geoghegan, her supporter. She also mentioned a very special moment for her, when she received the ‘Mano Amiga International Award’ accompanied by Ana Diaz. Chris Roberts, current chair of the EWGPWD, expressed his admiration for the impressive work carried out by previous Chairs. Jayne Goodrick, Chris’ wife, acknowledged the contributions that all the members of the group have made and highlighted that this work is setting the stage for the development of a range of other impactful initiatives such as the upcoming establishment of the Alzheimer Europe European Carers Working Group. All attendees then proceeded to say a few words, about themselves, and their current or previous experiences with the EWGPWD. Ana then presented a few highlights with pictures of the group over the years attending various events as well as pictures sent by different members. Dianne Gove closed the meeting by thanking everyone again for their contributions and stating that it has been a pleasure to work with all of them.