​Tessa Gutteridge – Programme Director for Young Onset Dementia, Dementia UK

Motivated by family experience of dementia, Tessa has focused on young onset dementia for more than two decades.

As the driving force behind YoungDementia UK, the first national charity for young onset dementia, Tessa led the creation of a range of award-winning services. Following a welcome merger in 2020, Tessa, as Dementia UK’s Programme Director for Young Onset Dementia is now actively encouraging the growth of a range of specialist nursing support and information dedicated to younger people with dementia and their families.

Tessa observed the inequity that exacerbates every aspect of the experience of young onset dementia and recognised the different impact of dementia in mid-life. Hence in 2016 Tessa initiated, with highly motivated collaborators including Dementia UK, the Young Dementia Network. Tessa chairs the Network’s expert steering group. Together with the Network’s online community membership, they are dedicated to improving the lives of people with young onset dementia now and in the future.

Tessa believes that everyone should be enabled to live as fully as they can, whatever their disability or circumstances. She continues to pursue this with optimism and hope.