Strong public support for the charity’s work saw overall income reach £22million, with voluntary donations topping £20m for the first time in its history. These new figures make Alzheimer’s Research UK the fastest growing of the country’s top 10 medical research charities. The charity’s 24% increase in income enabled it to invest £17.9m into its charitable activities – more than ever before, and 42% more than the previous year – with £14.8m invested in pioneering dementia research.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the country’s leading research charity aiming to defeat dementia, powering world-class studies that offer the best chance of beating dementia sooner. Its research focuses on prevention, treatment and cure, and the charity also works to improve public understanding about dementia, as well as campaigning for fair funding for research.
Across 2015-16, Alzheimer’s Research UK awarded 64 new research grants including its first ever award through its recently-established Global Clinical Trials Fund. The charity’s three Drug Discovery Institutes, launched in 2015 to fast-track research into new treatments for dementia, began to take shape with senior leadership teams established and vital equipment put in place. Meanwhile Alzheimer’s Research UK became one of two founding charity partners in the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) – committing £50m towards the MRC-led initiative that will form the biggest joint endeavour in dementia research the country has ever seen.
Through its awareness-raising, Alzheimer’s Research UK reached more people than ever before with its most successful digital campaign yet, #sharetheorange. Featuring the actor Christopher Eccleston and animated by Aardman, the film set out to show that dementia is caused by physical diseases that can be beaten through research – and so far the film has been viewed by nearly 12m people worldwide. The film was followed by the charity’s hard-hitting Christmas campaign, Santa Forgot, which brought home the powerful message that dementia can affect anyone. At the same time the charity saw more people than ever before supporting its work, with a 22% increase in voluntary donations compared to 2014-15.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Over the past year we have seen unprecedented support from the public, and this growing support has enabled us to push further ahead with an ambitious programme of research to defeat dementia. We are only able to invest in our pioneering initiatives because of the backing of our thousands of dedicated supporters, and we are hugely grateful for every donation we receive.
“This growth in support underlines the vast number of people affected by dementia across the UK and only serves to remind us how much we still have to do. Research is making real progress, but we must keep our foot on the accelerator if we are to achieve our vision of a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”