The founders of Co-Creation Support CLG, Marita O’Brien and Jackie O’Toole have worked for many years with community groups and public bodies in the field of dementia, older people and advocacy.

Marita O’Brien has a PhD in Social Policy and Ageing and a Masters in Social Research. Marita worked for a number of years as the health policy officer for Age Action, an older people’s advocacy organisation. She co-created with European partners workshops on elder abuse prevention through education on human rights among residents and staff in nursing homes as part of the Socio-Drama Tackling Ageism, Preventing Abuse (S.T.Age) project. She has worked on a number of projects with community groups including the Co. Wicklow Network for Older People Ambassador programme, Wicklow Dementia Friendly and the ‘Our Voice’ project with Wicklow Dementia Support. Other recent projects include a review of dementia related education and a review of adult safeguarding models: the Adult Safeguarding Legislation and Policy Rapid Realist Literature Review.

Jackie O’Toole, a dementia nurse specialist and a dementia care trainer, has a Masters in Practice Development – Dementia and is a registered member of the Teaching Council of Ireland. Jackie is an experienced facilitator and trainer having worked as an associate of Bradford University Dementia group facilitating Dementia Care Map training in Ireland, co-facilitated courses with David Sheard, Dementia Matters and facilitated Poole Associates ‘Busy Bee’ Programme –Leadership in Dementia Care.  Jackie also ran her own dementia training company, developing education programmes and delivering them to formal carers and nurses. She helped set up the Wicklow Dementia Support, AlzPals programme, a compatible companion programme for people with dementia. Jackie was also a member of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) working group involved in preparation for thematic inspections around dementia care.