Meet our Social Leaders


Full list of Fellows
Neil Mapes

Neil Mapes

Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2010

Neil Mapes is co-founder and Managing Director of Dementia Adventure.  He is a Clore Social Fellow, RSA Fellow and was selected by an expert panel of judges at NESTA and the Observer newspaper as one of “Britain’s New Radicals” – 50 people and organisations changing Britain for the better.  Neil has a background in clinical psychology, dementia advocacy and adventure travel.  Motivated by experiences in his own family he has worked for over 20 years to enable people living with dementia to have more choice and control in how they live their lives, bringing joy and positivity into re-framing how we currently understand dementia. 

Neil is widely regarded as an inspirational international speaker, author, trainer, facilitator and social innovator.  He has an extensive range of LinkedIn endorsements including skills, expertise and experience in:

  • Mental health and social services
  • Fundraising
  • Strategy and non-profits
  • Community outreach
  • Workshop facilitation and training
  • Public speaking

As well as establishing Dementia Adventure in 2009, with Lucy Harding, he has also led and been involved in delivering a succession of dementia related projects and initiatives including:

  • One of the first Alzheimer’s Cafes in the UK (whilst with Dementia Concern)
  • Specialist outreach services for younger people with dementia (as above)
  • City & Guilds qualifications in mental health (whilst with Age UK)
  • Mental Capacity advocacy with older people – delivered by volunteers (as above)
  • Multi media research into the social exclusion of older people (as above)
  • Dementia Choices: personal budgets for people with dementia (as an independent consultant working with the Mental Health Foundation)
  • Green exercise and dementia (as a visiting fellow with the University of Essex)

Dementia Adventure is a multi-award winning social enterprise and a charity with a relatively simple mission: to enable people living with dementia to get outdoors, connect with nature, themselves and their community, and retain a sense of adventure in their lives. Dementia Adventure is based in Essex but works nationally with an international following in over 130 countries.  We provide training, research, and consultancy services - all with nature in mind.  Income from these activities, donations and grant funding means we can provide award winning Dementia Adventures from park walks to sailing holidays.  Neil and Dementia Adventure have so far been recognised with the following awards and honours (in chronological order):

  • UnLtd social entrepreneur award - Millennium award 2010
  • Visiting Fellow with University of Essex – 2010-11
  • Social Vision UK 2011 – outright winner by public vote
  • Acorn Awards finalist 2011
  • Clore Social Fellowship 2010-2012
  • Britain’s New Radicals 2012
  • Chelmsford Grand Award 2012 – outright winner by public vote
  • International Dementia Excellence Award 2012 – winner by expert panel vote 
  • Emerald Literati Network – Highly Commended Paper Award 2013
  • Scotland Dementia Awards – Most Innovative Partnership (with Visit Woods) 2013
  • Young Foundation Accelerator – successful social investment programme 2013/14
  • NatWest SE100 Index Growth Champion – shortlisted 2015


LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/neilmapes
Twitter: @neilmapes and @dementiaadv

Current principal role: Managing Director
Current principal organisation: Dementia Adventure
Other leadership role 1: Editorial board member
Other organisation 1: Working with Older People

Research: Living with dementia and connecting with nature; looking back and stepping forward
Research topics: Care; Health and well-being; Older people;
Secondment host: The Young Foundation
Secondment host 2: Hearthstone in Boston, USA

Contact us
0207 812 3770
5th Floor, Kings Place, 90 York Way
London, N19AG

Charity: 1136727
Reg: 7222275
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