Hennell award


The Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care was launched in memory of the late Brian Hennell at the ADS 5th birthday celebration event on 14 May 2014. 

His wife June has acted as an ambassador for this award which recognises people who have made a significant contribution to promoting person-centred care.

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Hennell Award 2023 is: The Alive Meeting Centre team!

The judging panel was especially impressed by the innovative and excellent standard of the work described in the application, and the high quality of evidence offered in support. Evidence was provided demonstrating how barriers were overcome using a range of means, including energised and imaginative leadership.


The judging panel also highly commended the entry by Lynne Phair, Kara Gratton and Milford Care. The dedication of the team to providing excellent care and support shone through. Commitment to ongoing learning was also impressive. 

2023-24 call for nominations now open

This award is to celebrate the achievements of an individual or team who have shown their ability to implement positive change for people living with dementia.

It is open to anyone who has attended a course facilitated by the Association for Dementia Studies. This could include:

  • Courses for professional groups or organisations
  • The Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies and the individual modules within it
  • The Postgraduate Award in Professional Development
  • The Meeting Centres Training Course
  • The course on Championing Physical Activity for people affected by dementia

Nominations can be made by self, colleagues, course tutors and any individuals or carers affected by dementia.

The judges base their decisions on the narrative provided on a Nomination Form and supporting information and evidence. The nomination form can be found here. Closing date 9am, 8th July 2024.

Previous winners of the award 


The 2022 Hennell Award Winner - Stu Wright

Hennell Award 2022

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Hennell Award of 2021-2022 is Stu Wright, Dementia Care Lead at Brunelcare.

Stu used learning gained whilst studying on courses provided by the Association for Dementia Studies, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Care, to implement positive change for people living with dementia across the range of care homes for which he holds responsibility.

The panel judging this year’s Hennell Award noted the following aspects of Stu’s entry:

  • The work completed has made an impact upon care delivered and upon the satisfaction of individual residents, their families and care home staff.
  • It was impressive to read documented evidence relating to a real-life action plan for improvement within care homes. There were lots of tools in the box that colleagues could call upon to improve their offering.
  • Mention of human rights frameworks and accounts of their application in practice was commendable, bold and impressive.
  • Measures to support people with more advanced dementia (Namaste care) demonstrate that people living with dementia are valued at whatever stage of their life, and whatever moment has been reached in their illness.   

Many congratulations Stu!

Congratulations also to Alexandra “Lexi” Rees (of the Dementia Wellbeing Community Team, Hywel Dda University Health Board) and to Hannah Hodson (Dementia Locksmith – ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Solihull). The entries by both Lexi and Hannah were highly commended by the judging panel. 

The 2021 Hennell Award Winner - Sue Ashcroft


Sue Ashcroft, who is the Approaches to Care Lead for Dementia and Lifestyle Services at Care UK, was the winner of the Hennell Award for 2021. She was presented with her award during the University of Worcester graduation in November 2021.

Sue was a student on the Postgraduate Award: Expert Practice in Delivering Person-Centred Dementia Care, and – despite the pandemic – has trained more than 260 staff in the past year as well as supporting them to feel confident and valued. The judges for the Hennell Award recognised Sue’s outstanding contribution to the development of dementia care at Care UK.

Congratulations to Sue and all the other nominees. 

The 2019 Hennell Award Winner - Dr Clementinah Rooke

Hennell Award 2019 presentation


Clementinah, who is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield, was chosen by the judges mainly for the impact she achieved during a dementia awareness raising ‘tour’ of her home country, Zimbabwe.

The judges were very impressed with her application and gave the following comments:

"Drive, commitment and passion to raise awareness of dementia & seek to improve understanding, not only in UK, but in her home country, where little support has been available."

"Clementinah is clearly very motivated and driven. She persisted to make this awareness raising trip possible it has huge potential to improve the lives of people with dementia in Zimbabwe."

"What an inspiring lady you are Clementinah."

The award was presented at UK Dementia Congress 2019 during the Association for Dementia Studies Symposium. 

The judges also awarded:


Highly Commended Certificates to:

  • Elaine Banks - Friends of the Elderly, Malvern
  • Suzanne Mumford - Care UK
  • Liliana Onica - Care UK
  • Sharlene Von Tonder - Care UK

Commended Certificates to:

  • Alison Butler - Care UK
  • Sara Rainbow - Care UK
  • Jacqueline Dye and Vicki Real-Diaz - Care UK
  • Kirsten Bell - Care UK

The 2018 Hennell Award Winner - Mary Tasker

  • Mary Tasker, is the Manager of the Hawthorns Care Home in Evesham, Worcestershire, part of the Shaw Healthcare Group.   
  • Mary was nominated by her colleague Alison Edwards, Activities Champion, for the outstanding work that she is doing within her nursing home to reduce psychotropic medication use and improve the lives of your residents with dementia.  
  • The Hawthorns Care Home team with Prof Dawn Brooker, Isabelle Latham and June Hennell MBE

    The judges were very impressed with the application and gave the following comments:
  • “Well done Mary, how innovative you are.”  
  • “Inspirational, flexible and creative. Above all caring and person centred. Well considered and presented, showed impact on resident, community and family.”
  • The Judging Panel was led by June Hennell MBE and also included Liz Mynard, David Moore, Operations Manager for Dementia at MHA and Gina Dutton, Head of the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester.  
  • The judges also awarded the following Certificates to:-

    Highly Commended 
  • Carmel Hopkins, Deputy Director of Care, Castlemanor Nursing Home, Co. Cavan,Ireland for the outstanding work she is doing within her nursing home to reduce psychotropic medication use and improve the lives of her residents with dementia. 
  • Lorna Gregg and Sarah Goodger, Alzheimer’s Society in Herefordshire for the work that they have been doing with the Hereford Focus on Dementia Network group, the USURPERs, which is helping local organisations to ensure their offer is dementia-friendly. The evidence supplied shows just how much work they and the group have undertaken since it was established and it was evident that both Lorna and Sarah have made a significant difference to the lives of people with dementia living in Herefordshire through their passion to ensure services are led by people living with dementia. 
  • Patricia Goodens-Husbands, Registered Manager Eton House Residential Home for the excellent work she has been doing. The judges recognised her passion for supporting people living with dementia and their families and her achievement in taking a home from special measures to outstanding, leading from the top motivated by powerful convictions. 

  • Rene Mathieson, Sunley Court, ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Kettering for her dedication to her residents at Sunley Court and her enthusiasm for improving dementia care. Because of a combination of Rene's innate skills and quality training Rene lives and breathes person-centred care and is an example of PCC in action ... all the time. The Care Team at Park Farm Lodge Care Home in Tamworth led by Donna Sealey, the Manager for the implementation of Namaste into their care home. Judges’ comments included: “Many congratulations for achieving small miracles every day. You must be very proud of your caring environment.”

The 2016 Hennell Award Winner - April Dobson

April Dobson is Head of Dementia Innovation at the Abbeyfield Society, a national charity. April Dobson was selected for work to embed the principles of VIPS and person-centred care into the Abbeyfield Society dementia strategy and the comprehensive practical steps that she has taken to implement this.

“Both I, and Abbeyfield, are delighted that our Breath of Fresh Air Project has been recognised by this wonderful award,” she said. “It was an honour to stand alongside the other entrants but regardless of who wins, this is really about the people living with dementia that our projects will help. 

“I hope that the research from Breath of Fresh Air will go on to shape how people look at dementia care, and that we continue to help those living with the condition get outside, to get fresh air, and to remain as independent, happy and empowered as they can.” 

The Judging Panel was led by June Hennell and also included David Moore, Head of Dementia at Hallmark Care Homes and Robbie Duncan. 

Robbie and June are part of the ADS Link Group whose members are people with lived experience of dementia who support students, professionals and researchers to understand the impact of dementia on people living with the condition, their families and friends and the professional staff who care for them. 

Gina Dutton, Head of the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, who was also on the panel said: “Yet again the calibre of the applications was very high and it was a privilege and a delight to have the opportunity to read about the wonderful things that learners who attend our training go back to their organisations and deliver.”

The judges also awarded:- 

one ‘Highly Commended’ to: 

  • Michelle Brown, Dementia Navigator, Alzheimer’s Society and recent graduate of the University of Worcester

and four ‘Commended’ certificates to 

  • Denise Brown, Home Manager, Pinewood Residential Care Home 
  • Lorna Butcher, Dementia Adviser at the Alzheimer’s Society 
  • Rachel Hayden, Dementia Lead Nurse, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Memory Plus team, Leicestershire County Council

 All recipients have attended courses with the University’s ADS

The 2015 Hennell Award Winner - Christina Hulse

Christina Hulse, Dementia Lead at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust 

Christina was selected as the recipient for her work on falls and dementia, carried out as part of the dementia leadership course, delivered by ADS. 

“This has given me a great insight into changing practice and as a result I have started to help make changes within my work role,” she said. “I have been seconded as Dementia Lead for Birmingham Community Health Care Trust where I really love my work, although it is sometimes challenging to change people's views and understanding around dementia. 

“As a Trust we are making changes in the way we work. As part of our yearly CQUIN we have adapted the Royal United Hospital, Bath Charter Mark Audit and will be auditing 12 wards/units across the Trust. This is a massive piece of work but so enjoyable, Supported by Frances Clarke, Associate Director of Nursing and colleagues a baseline audit has already completed and we are sincerely hoping that this audit will improve our care standards throughout and support carers and patients to live well with dementia.”

The Judging Panel was led by June Hennell and also included Mr Robbie Duncan. Robbie and June are part of the ADS Link Group whose members are people with lived experience of dementia who support students, professionals and researchers to understand dementia.

The judges also awarded:

one ‘Highly Commended’ certificate 

  • Janet Chand and Team at the Heantun/Accord Group in Bilston 

three‘ Commended’ certificates 

  • Natalie Allcock, Managing Director of Valuing Individual People at Redditch 
  • Michelle Done, Care Manager at Bluebird Care in Bromsgrove 
  • Joanne Cartmell, a Physiotherapist at West Heath Hospital, Birmingham, part of the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust 

The 2014 Hennell Award Winner - Emma Hawk

Emma Hawk, Mental Health Care Home Specialist from Oxfordshire, was selected as the winner of the 2014 Hennell Award  

Inspired by work on the ADS Leadership Course, Emma led on and produced a ‘Knowing Me’ patient passport document to be used collaboratively across two NHS Trusts in Oxfordshire. She led a pilot of the document in the Trusts which has now been approved for use as the standard tool to aid communication and improve person-centred care across the Trusts in Acute, Community and Mental Health settings. 

Judging was led by June Hennell along with Nicola Jacobson, Dementia Practice Development Coach at ADS and David Moore who previously worked with us and now works for Anchor Trust as a Dementia Lead Practitioner. They were very impressed with Emma’s application and gave the following comments: 

“Emma has demonstrated huge personal commitment and leadership skills to take this as far as she has” 

“Excellent idea to create a document that can be used for all patients with issues around communication and therefore reduce some of the stigma associated with the label of dementia” 

“Well done Emma”

Due to the calibre of applicants, judges chose to recognise the excellent work that is being done by awarding 5 ‘Highly Commended’ certificates as well as selecting an overall winner. These certificates were awarded to: 

  • Bryan O’Connor, Care Home Manager at The Beeches Care Home, Birmingham 
  • Jacqueline Minihone, Care Home Manager at Redhill Court, Birmingham 
  • Louise Kitching, Activities Co-ordinator, Greenhill Park Residential Home, Evesham 
  • Janet Chand, Service Manager, Priority Care Project, Bilston 
  • Karen Causer, Domiciliary Care Manager, Tender Care, Shropshire