About Us

Stimulating cognition through creativity;

we provide interactive, creative sessions and practical support proven to enhance focus, concentration and memory function

Unforgettable Experiences was launched in 2020 as an alternative model of care that can help ease the lives of those with neurological, mental health and memory conditions, in addition to their carers and families, while providing them with access to arts, culture and heritage based activities.

Our qualified and experienced Creative Facilitators work with you in small groups to help you to rediscover your love of arts, culture and heritage through personalised activities that are designed to improve emotional wellbeing, keep your mind active, keep you connected to your loved ones, and build communities of support with like-minded peers who share similar interests.

Speaking with older adults, their carers, families, health professionals and social prescribers to better understand the type of service that would best support them, we’ve worked towards developing a model that provides innovative solutions and puts lived experience at the centre. An independent evaluation has shown a 20% improvement in wellbeing, memory function, and quality of life for our Unforgettable participants as well as a reduction in GP appointments.

Our Story

Formally known as Learning, Cognition and Wellbeing CIC, the social enterprise was originally established in 2017 by Richard McMann to support those on a medical journey to learn how to self-manage their conditions and help them with their rehabilitation. Victoria Burnip, who is passionate about supporting older people and leading not-for-profit organisations in the North East of England, was introduced to Learning, Cognition and Wellbeing CIC in 2019 and was appointed as CEO in January 2020 to lead and develop the social enterprise.

Our Team

Unforgettable Experiences is led by a tight-knit team of dedicated individuals working to improve the health and wellbeing sector by helping to develop an alternative, sustainable model of care. Directed by CEO Victoria Burnip, our small but solid team is made up of brilliant people from all walks of life yet are connected through individual lived experience. In addition to a shared passion for helping others, our team are dedicated to slowing the decline of cognitive function while enhancing wellbeing and improving focus, attention and concentration for those with neurological, memory or mental health concerns.

Awarded UK Charity and Social Enterprise Leader of the Year in November 2019, Victoria Burnip is a qualified senior leader in health and social care, who has over ten year’s experience inspiring and leading teams within the voluntary and community sector. Previous Interim CEO and Chief Operations Officer of an Age UK who has lived experience as a carer for her Grandmother who was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Victoria has campaigned and represented the views of thousands of older people and their loved ones in her previous roles. As a result she is extremely passionate about making a difference to the lives of those living in the North East and beyond by disrupting and transforming adult social care by offering alternative respite models of care to help them to create memories with their loved ones and live longer, more fulfilling, independent lives as they grow old.

Victoria Burnip

CEO

Always endeavouring to be her best authentic self, the pandemic helped motivate Penny to put some good back in the world again. From beginning her early professional life working in the legal sector, to falling into media, broadcasting and events, to joining our Unforgettable team as Head of Commissioning and Strategic Partnerships, Penny’s diverse operational and commercial experience has afforded her expertise in growing organisations from the ground up.

Penny is a firm believer in finding creative and endearing ways to achieve anything, and is driven by her ability to think outside of the box, a place where she finds the best solutions to life’s many riddles!

Penny Frantzescou

Head of Commissioning & Strategic Relationships

Inspired to work for a unique organisation that creates real positive change, Karen is passionate about improving the lives of not only those with dementia and other cognitive conditions, but for their carers also. She joins Unforgettable Experiences with a breadth of specialist experience across the voluntary and community sectors, drawing on over 35 years in management and leadership roles where she has built successful partnerships across local and regional sectors.

Listing her greatest strengths as understanding, listening and supporting others to be the best they can be, Karen is both a leader and facilitator working at strategic and grassroots levels to empower her staff and volunteers.

Karen Grundy

Head of Operations & Programme Development

Georgie joins our Unforgettable team from an academic background in English Literature, Media and Journalism. She began her career in communications working for various North East publications and charities focusing on social good – though she is drawn to reading and writing all kinds of stories: ranging from the everyday to the extraordinary. Georgie’s biggest and brightest supporter is her Grandpops Jim, who she cites as to why she first joined our Unforgettable team. Since helping to care for her Grandad during his early Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Georgie has felt passionate about improving health and happiness in older adults and wants to do her bit to keep their stories alive. On her days off, you’ll find her immersed in art and music, despite being extraordinarily inept at both; she’ll leave that to our wonderful Artists!

Georgie Hume

Marketing & Publicity Manager

Graduated from Teesside University back in 2016 with a BA Hons Dance Degree. Since then, she has completed fitness industry qualifications and developed teaching skills within pre school, dementia clients and pre and postnatal women. Dementia Champion trained and delivered several dementia training sessions over the years. Emma has been with the company less than a year. Prior to that she spent 5 years project managing several projects for a community interest company. In her spare time, Emma enjoys Dance classes, spending time with her family and friends. Emma is inspired to give her clients the best experience to help support their everyday life.

Emma Bryan Hall

Participant, Engagement & Impact Coordinator

Leslie joins the team bringing to the table decades of experience in the field of information technology. In the past, Leslie has worked with several notable institutions in the capacity of an IT expert. Some of Leslie’s previous roles include ICT Support Teacher for the Darlington County Council, Group Coordinator for the Darlington Baptist Church, IT Tutor for Age UK, and many more. Leslie has a strong passion for working with, and for the socially isolated elderly population and aspires to support them extensively with the use of IT.

Leslie Smith

I.T. Trainer

Curtis Craggs

IT Technician and Admin

Our Creative Facilitators and Artists

Our creative workshop facilitators are the cornerstone of our company. With talents ranging from Music to Mixed Media Arts, we couldn’t be more proud of the abundance of creative flair and expertise our artists each bring to our sessions and participants. Our workshop facilitators work to inspire, connect and create meaningful interactions within their personalised, intimate classes in their individual discipline.
A recent Master of Arts graduate, Natasha became passionate about visual storytelling through her studies investigating how art and music may be expressed as parallel experiences. She views the world in a deeply imaginative way that feeds into her ongoing interest in measuring the impact of art and the betterment of others. Natasha sees how creativity can enlarge the possibilities of experiencing life to its fullest and dreams to impact at least one person’s life for the better.

Natasha’s creative practice is multidisciplinary. From printmaking, painting, photography, filmography, drawing and sound, we can’t think of a better Mixed Media Facilitator for our classes!

Natasha Duggal

Creative Facilitator – Visual and Mixed Media Arts

Most at home with a pen in her hand, Gina is our Creative Writing Facilitator at Unforgettable Experiences, with a wealth of experience to match. Not only does Gina have a Liberal Arts BA under her belt but there’s a few published pieces of writing in there too! Gina fondly remembers the long afternoons spent with her Granny during her last few years living with advanced Parkinson’s disease – where they’d discuss literature and poetry together. Gina could see the difference these afternoons made to her Grandma, who’s mind was still incredibly acute (it just needed a gentle prodding) and who really relished intellectual stimulation.

In her free time, you’ll still find Gina with a big grin on her face: either studying towards her MA in Writing at the Royal College of Art or gardening, cooking and getting her hands dirty – be it with mud, chocolate, or pen ink!

Gina Prat Lilly

Creative Facilitator – Creative Writing & Storytelling

Graduated from Leeds Conservatoire with Honours, Becca joins our Unforgettable team with musical talents across clarinet, saxophone and piano – she even has a little bit of flute in her repertoire too! During her time at Leeds Conservatoire – where she graduated with honours – Becca played with her University Wind and Chamber Orchestra in addition to the TVYO Youth Orchestra. She joins us fresh from working across local care homes, where she became inspired to make life brighter for older adults in care.

In addition to facilitating our Music Workshops, Becca divides her time between looking after her dog Daisy and learning new things; she’s even in pursuit of a Masters in Music Therapy!

Rebecca Hudson

Creative Facilitator – Music

Dulcie prides herself on her jovial spirit as well as her dedication to making others smile. With a creative background in Art and Design, she cites Photography as her true passion, helping with relaxation, focus and to access imaginative places – which are the best places to be according to Dulcie! Having previously worked in a care home, she thoroughly enjoys meeting, spending time with and being able to help so many different people who are in need of a friendly face and a good natter. Dulcie sees our Unforgettable workshops as safe and caring spaces that help to foster creativity and allow participants to access their passions, but most importantly everyone can have fun.

Taking photos has always helped through life’s highs and lows, and when she’s not behind the camera or teaching Photography to our participants, you can find Dulcie either painting, knitting or figure skating.

Dulcie Collis-Lealman

Creative Facilitator – Photography & Film

Our Board of Directors

Unforgettable Experiences wouldn’t be possible without the support, commitment and backing of our board of directors.
Michael Grocott is a Commercial Director for Capita and Technology Lawyer with 15 years practice as a Solicitor advising clients on Commercial and Technology Law. He has worked in all levels of business and provides practical support on the shop floor as well as board level. His clients range from a diverse global group; including HSBC, Capita, HM Government, NHS, Vodafone, Cable & Wireless, BT, Aegon, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft Paypal and IBM. Several have offered pro-bono technical support to help Unforgettable Experiences to set up and launch this initiative.

Michael Grocott

Julie has worked for charities in a senior role; for the last 30 years, she’s been a strategic thinker while better understanding the issues that older adults face as the ageing process progresses. Julie wants to make the world more equitable for older adults, where age discrimination could be a thing of the past. She cites herself as having the heart of a charity and the head of a business and sees working alongside Unforgettable Experiences as a great opportunity to share her skills and industry knowledge to enhance the lives of our participants.

Julie Boyack

Amanda is an exceptional senior leader with over 30 years of professional experience. She has worked in the NHS as a Chief Exec and various other senior roles, successfully leading highly complex transformation programmes and strategic planning across multiple sectors, including primary, secondary, mental health, and with social care and voluntary organisations.

Following 10 years of working in HR in the acute sector, Amanda led the Workforce Development Confederation across health and care and for the Strategic Health Authority. She led the merger of six Primary Care Trusts into a single entity in 2006 before moving into contracting, performance management and business development in 2008 followed by broader commissioning, until the demise of PCTs in 2012. Amanda then established and led South Tees CCG until 2018 before moving on to lead the development of the emergent Integrated Care System across the NE.

Amanda Hume

Get 12 free sessions

We have a number of free places available on our courses