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Personal Introduction from Lori Hayden
“Our lives veered onto a much different path than we had planned when my husband, John, was diagnosed with PCA (Posterior Cortical Atrophy), a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease that affects a person's visual / spatial capabilities.

John was diagnosed in 2014 and early on we got involved with Dementia Pathfinders.  We not only attended many of the meetings held at St. George's Hospital in Tooting, but we took part in a variety of other activities and services that we learned about through Pathfinders.  

John was retired but had been a computer analyst building computer systems around the world.  He worked at Warner Bros. and at Stanford University in California, and closer to home, at the London Traffic Director's Office and the Public Records Office.  John had a degree in both physics and philosophy.  He loved guitars, music and books.  

John accepted his diagnosis with grace.  We were encouraged and supported by the many new friends we made with other families affected by dementia and by the wonderful volunteers and creative people that surrounded us.
Both of us got so much from the various projects that we took part in.  John felt so welcomed and looked after . . . he told me once that in the sessions he felt whole again.  As for me, not only did I get to spend quality time with him but as he had assistance, I had time to be me and take part too.

John’s diagnosis of dementia changed our lives irrevocably; taking part and learning that there was a world out there to surround us with creativity and love made all the difference.”

John was diagnosed with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) in September 2014. He died in June 2018. This annual award has been established in John’s memory.

In the four years after his diagnosis, until his death, John, with his wife Lori Hayden, benefitted from many arts and activity projects designed to help people living with dementia and their carers; projects that engage people in meaningful and creative activities and enable them to enjoy interacting with other people with dementia, family carers, volunteers and supportive practitioners.  

These projects enriched the life John was able to lead, post-diagnosis, and enabled him and Lori to enjoy time together learning skills and meeting new people.

John on Isle of Wight 2016.jpg


In partnership with Dementia Pathfinders, Lori has set up this annual award, which will recognise and reward one creative

project each year, that is demonstrably improving the lives of people living with dementia and their families. These projects

might be based on arts, sports, recreational or leisure activities.


Nominations will be invited in October of each year. The closing date for nominations will be in February of the following year. The judging process will entail shortlisting of projects and visits by one or more members of the panel. The winning entry will be announced at the Dementia Pathfinders annual presentation event in July.

Panel of judges

Each year, Lori will convene a panel of judges comprised of people who knew John and witnessed his experiences of living with dementia and its impact; people who accompanied John and Lori on their journey with dementia and played a part in helping to care for him and support Lori; people who contributed to making this period of their lives together rich and rewarding. 


The project must embrace the following values:

  • Have people living with dementia and their carers at its heart

  • Engage people living with dementia in activities that enrich their lives

  • Create enjoyment for people living with dementia

  • Be motivated by compassion and humanity

  • Be open, accessible and inclusive


2021 Award

The second year of the John Gregory Williamson Memorial Award will be 2021. Nominations will be invited between 1st January 2021 and 14th February 2021. The panel will draw up a shortlist of nominated projects and, between March and May, shortlisted projects will be visited by one or more of the panel members. The winning entry will be announced at the annual Dementia Pathfinders Presentation Event in July 2021.


The panel of judges:

Lori Hayden

Lori is an American who met John nearly 40 years ago in Los Angeles.  She has lived in London for nearly 30 years now and is a definite Anglophile.  Before retiring to care for John full time after his diagnosis with dementia, Lori was a business development director and PR consultant specialising in Corporate Brand & Identity.  Lori took part and attended many projects supporting people with dementia and their families and continues to do so.  She is now a trustee on the Board of Arts4Dementia and looks forward to doing all she can to helping others on their journey.


Jacquie Nunn

Jacquie Nunn’s career was spent in teaching, teacher training and in education policy. In 2010 she became full time carer for her husband, Tony Wadling, who was a barrister until forced to retire when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 60. Since then being involved in a number of arts related projects, including art, music and dance has been a lifeline for both, offering shared creative interests and the support of professionals who understand the impact of a dementia diagnosis on individuals and their family carers. 


Sue Hall

Sue Hall has had diverse roles working in small companies including event management, wine trade, helicopter charter, bespoke furniture making, sales, marketing and press relations. Sue subsequently qualified as a primary school teacher working in the role as Special Educational Needs Co-ordination, and taking further PGCEs in Specific Learning Difficulties, then in Autism and Inclusion. Sue’s niece is a dementia advisor to nursing homes and together they have comparative conversations comparing the needs of young people and more elderly people with dementia, and strategies to help. Sue helped to establish the Concertina Charitable Trust, which funds entertainment, especially music, in care homes. Sue has known John and Lori since 1989.   


Andrew Hindle

In 2010, at the age of 55, Andrew Hindle’s wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. He spent the next five years until her death juggling living their life together to the full, caring for her at home, being a father to their two young adult daughters and working as a solicitor in private practice. During that period he learned at least as much about himself as he did about dementia. He still works as a solicitor and is a volunteer at the Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain sessions.



Projects inspired, managed and delivered by an individual or an organisation are eligible for nomination.


Eligible projects include both projects that work exclusively with people with dementia and their family carers, and projects that are more wide reaching (to older people, people with mental health problems, people who are socially isolated, for example) and include people with dementia and their families and friends.


Similarly, the project can be working with people with a specific form of dementia (eg PCA, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, frontotemporal dementia) or a particular demographic (eg young onset) or can be inclusive of all types of dementia and all demographics.


Nominations of inter-generational projects will be particularly welcomed.


The project must have supported and benefitted at least two people with dementia and their family carers within its timeframe. 


Nominated projects must:

  • Be located within an inner London borough

  • Have operated for a minimum of six sessions or run continuously

  • Support multiple people with dementia and family carers (ie more than one person or family)

  • Have the potential for replication

  • Demonstrate clear benefits for people living with dementia and family carers 

The involvement of family carers and people living with dementia as ‘equal partners’ in designing the project and providing the activity, will add strength to the nomination. 

Who can nominate?

We would like to encourage family carers and people living with dementia, either individually or as a group, to nominate projects that have been helpful to them.


Nominations will also be accepted from paid practitioners and/or volunteers, with supporting testimonials from people living with dementia and family carers.


Project leaders/practitioners can nominate their own project, as long as supporting evidence from project participants and third parties is provided.


Nomination process

Documents and supporting evidence requested:

  • A description of the project: aims and goals, timeframe, source of funding, geographical catchment, number of participants/people involved, benefits and outcomes (1500 words max).

  • Photographs and films

  • Feedback/testimonials from people who have participated and been involved: family carers, people living with dementia, friends, volunteers, referrers, third party supporters.

  • Additional evidence eg evaluation/impact reports, social return on investment reports.


Please send documents electronically to:


Photographs and media files can be sent to this address by WeTransfer.


All projects that are nominated for the John Gregory Williamson Memorial Award will be featured in a dedicated page on the Dementia Pathfinder website.


Prize money

The award comes with a prize of £500. This money can be used for any purpose that supports the goals of the project in helping people with dementia and their carers.

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