Essex-based dementia charity appoints new CEO

Essex-based dementia charity appoints new CEO

Dementia Adventure, a specialist charity offering supported breaks for people living with dementia and their carers, has appointed Vivienne Depledge, former CEO of homeless charity Beacon House in Colchester, Essex, as its CEO.

Taking the reins of the charity from this September, Vivienne will succeed Neil Mapes, who stepped down as CEO from Dementia Adventure in August, following his founding of the charity with Lucy Harding and ten years in his role.

Along with a successful career history of working with vulnerable people and actively campaigning for sustainable change, Vivienne has personal experience of dementia and is committed to carrying forward Dementia Adventure’s mission to help those living with the condition to live well. She strongly believes that adventure can be whatever makes you feel good, be that a cup of tea outside or white water rafting.

Vivienne, who will be joining the Dementia Adventure team at their offices based in Chelmsford, Essex, said:

“I am excited to be taking up the CEO role at Dementia Adventure; a charity with such a great story. I’m inspired by its compassionate ethos and its value driven and growth minded strategy. In tackling isolation and misconceptions, the charity really enables those living with dementia to take positive risks and remain connected with the outdoors and their communities. I look forward to working at Dementia Adventure and with the staff; supporters and partners, to achieve real and lasting change.”

Originally from Kent, but residing in Essex since 2000, Vivienne combines strong leadership and business experience with a passionate personal commitment to enabling people and organisations to reach their full potential.

Neil Mapes, Founder and previous CEO of Dementia Adventure, welcomed Vivienne to the role. He said: “I am delighted that Vivienne has been appointed to the role of CEO, and confident in the board’s decision. Vivienne’s business and strategic acumen will bring a new drive and impetus at this exciting time in the charity’s journey.”

Neil’s sentiment was echoed by John Barnes, Chair of Trustees of Dementia Adventure, who said: “Vivienne was the clear and obvious choice for the charity at this exciting time. Her breadth of leadership experience, obvious and proven care for people and her evident connection to our ethos and values shone throughout the recruitment process. Our staff panel and trustees were unanimous in their decision to appoint her to this important role and we are all very much looking forward to working with Vivienne. We also recognise and value the unique leadership contribution and service that Neil has brought to the charity and the people that we support.”



Notes to Editors

About Dementia Adventure

  • Dementia Adventure is an award-winning evidence and research-led charity committed to supporting people living with dementia to think differently about the condition. We help people to get outdoors, connect with nature, themselves and their community, to retain a sense of adventure in their lives.
  • Through training, research, and consultancy services it enables care providers and organisations to take advantage of the natural resources on their doorstep to enhance the lives of people living with dementia and the people who care for them.
  • The organisation is currently expanding the benefits of its nature-based, positive-risk taking approach with local and national partners through its social licence product Dementia Adventure in a Box in order to increase the choices of outdoor activities available for people with dementia. Its legacy will be to create an ever-growing network of dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable individuals and organisations, all receiving in-depth support from the Dementia Adventure team.
  • Dementia Adventure also designs, plans and delivers bespoke, small-group holidays and short-breaks for people living with dementia and their carers to enjoy together. It supports people with trained staff and volunteers, and offers this as an alternative to traditional respite.


You can also find out what impact Dementia Adventure is having on the lives of people living with dementia by reading its latest Impact Measurement report. This report is further supported by several films which highlight the benefits and outcomes of the charity’s work. Find them at