Getting to know us – Lindsey Collins

Lindsey Collins joined the Centre in 2013 and since then she has been sharing her talent and passion for person-centred care. Get to know Lindsey a bit better.

Name: Lindsey Collins

Born (Place): Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Job Title: Senior Dementia Care Consultant and Trainer. I am also a registered Speech and Language Therapist.

Why did you choose to work in dementia? I never specifically planned to work with people living with dementia. When I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist, I took a job that was near to where my now husband lived. The job was primarily working with adults in the community and included two days working with older people as part of a memory clinic service. I hadn’t had a lot of experience with people with dementia, but I had always felt more comfortable around my elders compared to people my own age, even from a small child I adored the company of my Grandparents. I quickly recognised that working with people living with dementia was something I was interested in and had some aptitude for. I love spending time with people, am fascinated by communication and how we can support it and also fascinated by how the brain works. In my first Speech and Language Therapy role I worked with a fantastic team who were so passionate about improving the lives of people living with dementia. Their passion was infectious and within a year I was working full time within the memory clinic and associated services. My subsequent clinical roles were all primarily with people living with dementia and I was thrilled to be offered at job at the University of Bradford in 2013.

Now tell us a little about yourself:

Current and past interests, and jobs: I’ve had a variety of jobs over the years: I worked in retail and at a local pub as a teenager then in caring roles for both children on the autistic spectrum and adults with learning disabilities before training as a Speech and Language Therapist. Outside of work, my main interests revolve around my three working cocker spaniels. With them, I love to complete long distance runs (cani-cross); do sniffer dog work (Scentwork); and we have also tried our hands (and paws) at agility. In some of my spare time I also teach other people and their dogs how to do Scentwork. I also love to spend time away in my little touring caravan and have travelled all over the UK with it with my husband and our dogs. In addition to all of this, I am currently thoroughly enjoying working towards achieving a PhD.

Places you have lived and visited: I grew up in Harrogate in North Yorkshire then spent 10 years away from home, living in Berkshire, Hampshire and Leicestershire. I returned to a small village of 23 houses near to Thirsk in North Yorkshire in 2010. I have visited many amazing places throughout the world including North and Central America, Canada, Asia, North Africa and Europe but I will always have the biggest love for the UK as we have so much wonderful scenery, coastlines and architecture. I particularly love the Northumbrian coastline and love to climb mountains wherever I go.

What two things do you consider yourself to be very good at? I like to think that I am empathetic and always try to see and bring out the best in people. I also make a mean lemon drizzle cake!

What two things do you consider yourself to be less good at? I am not very good at saying no as I always want to help people and animals even when I have lots of other things to do. I am also pretty terrible at most household chores and am grateful to my husband for doing most of them.

Are there any accomplishments that you are really proud of? I try to take pride in everything I do and set myself pretty high standards. I am particularly proud of my academic achievements – my degree in Speech and Language Therapy, Masters in Dementia Studies and gaining a Fellowship to complete my PhD. Outside of work, I am very proud that I recently ran my first marathon, supported by my dogs – a 27.6 mile trail race across the North Yorkshire Moors. We weren’t very fast but we loved every minute of it. I am also super proud of my niece and nephew who are really wonderful little beings, for which I can take very limited credit but I am proud nonetheless.

A fun fact about yourself: Despite being fearful of water and boats, I rather enjoy white water rafting.

Where/How do you see yourself in the next three to five years? I plan to have completed my PhD and be using what I learned about the eating and drinking experiences of people living with dementia and swallowing difficulties to help others to have more positive eating and drinking experiences. I hope to continue to balance my love of my current job role, supporting dogs to learn new skills and enjoying time with my family (human and dog). I also hope to have completed my first ultra-marathon!