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Staff spotlight - 60 seconds with About Dementia's Manager

Published on 10 September 2021 01:17 PM

Each week we will be spotlighting Age Scotland staff and trustees to show the human faces of the organisation.

Even though we’re all working from home, we can still get to know new and old faces and get a flavour for how they shape our work and support older people.

This week we have About Dementia Manager, Kainde Manji.

Tell us about your role at Age Scotland?

I manage About Dementia, which is Age Scotland’s forum for Policy and Practice for people living with dementia and unpaid carers.

We’re funded by the Life Changes trust, and work with people with lived experience (and other partners) to bridge the gaps between policy and practice in Scotland. We’re fortunate to have lots of great government policy on paper, but when we speak to people we often hear that their experience has not lived up to the policy aspirations.

Likewise we know that there is lots of brilliant practice going on at a community level, but this doesn’t always get the national recognition it deserves. We work with people with lived experience of dementia to try to make changes because they are best placed to know what needs to be improved to close these gaps.

What do you love most about your job?

There’s honestly very little about my job that I don’t love! I get so much energy from doing what we do, and feel fortunate that we have a really brilliant team of staff, volunteers and activists involved in the project. If I have to pick one thing though, it would be getting to work with our activists, and empowering them to have a platform to share their experiences where it really matters.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

‘This too shall pass’ Whether it’s dealing with small babies and sleepless nights, or a busy time at work, or even a global pandemic, it’s helpful to remember that nothing is forever. I can’t say I’m always successful in following this advice, but I do try to remember it when I can.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

I have two young children, one of whom has just started P2 and the other is in his pre-school year at nursery, so I don’t have a huge amount of time for hobbies of my own. We recently moved house and I’ve discovered great joy in our garden - the thrill of planting something and watching it grow. I also love cooking and baking especially when I can share the results with friends.

How would you describe Age Scotland in 3 words?

Resilient, Responsive, (the pressure to chose another R-word) Resourceful.

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