In our latest ‘Spill the tea session’, we caught up with Jonathan, Atlas’ Co-Founder. We asked him a few questions about setting up Atlas and how he got into dementia care…

How did you get involved in dementia care?

I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years and helped those with memory loss throughout my career.  As a Director of Nursing I looked at community care services and noticed there was an acute lack of support for families or awareness of the disease and how to treat it.  I wanted to change this and make a true difference by helping families throughout this difficult long journey.  I launched Atlas to innovate in the treatment of dementia (I strongly believe that active cognitive therapies are as good as or better than medication) and to make that difference in the community.  This vision and launch also coincided with my granny being diagnosed with vascular dementia.  My Granny died last week aged 97 so I wanted to dedicate this post to her and share a photo of her and I together.

What do you love most about working for Atlas?

Difficult question as I love everything about Atlas and I am so proud of what the team have achieved!  However, if I was pushed to choose one thing it is the close personal relationships we build with our members who are living with such a difficult disease.  They are interesting, funny, optimistic and amazing and every day they teach me something new!

Tell me a memory that makes you smile when you’ve been working at Atlas

Everyday there is something that makes us all burst out in laughter, our groups, hubs and team are filled with laughter, however, a fond memory for me is being beaten hands down at table tennis by an 86 year old ping pong wizard she was so good and I didn’t stand a chance!

What does a typical day look like for you at Atlas?

I no longer work directly with our members but my time now is spent looking at sites across Devon and opening new spaces so that we can help families across Torbay, South, Mid & East Devon.  That means much of my day is taken up in the office and on the road, but I am excited to see Atlas grow.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 5 years for the business?

I would love to see a Ness Health Hub in all the major towns across Devon and Somerset, reaching into the communities and helping families cope with this journey.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Hmm good question – bit cheesy but maybe Live by the 4 Ls – ‘Listen, Learn, Love and Laugh’

How would your family and friends describe you in 3 words?

Calm-in-a-crisis, good humoured & kind.

 

You can read more of our Q&A’s over on our blog here or head over to Facebook for the latest updates and news from our centres.

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