Alzheimer’s Research UK has received a gift of £10,600 from the late Ernest Brown who lived in Heaton, Newcastle, most of his life and spent his retirement years in Seaton Burn. Ernest passed away in March 2013, following a stroke, aged 82. He left the gift in his Will to the UK’s leading dementia research charity to give hope to people living with dementia.
Ernest’s idyllic childhood was abruptly interrupted when he was evacuated to Grasmere in the Lake District in 1939. His attempts to run away failed but eventually he managed to smuggle a letter to his mother who brought him back home. At the age of 18 he went into the RAF for National Service. On his return he worked as an apprentice in a garage, a job that shaped his career in transport, working his way up through sales to management positions.
In 1951 Ernest met the love of his life, Maisie, and they married two years later. They never had children but spent 59 happy years together and holidayed all over the world. They both had a great love for dogs and shared their home with many four-legged friends over the years.
Ernest’s great nephew, Tom Hanson, from Throckley, Newcastle, said:
“Ernie was a very sociable man. He loved chatting to people and telling stories. He had views on everything from sports to politics and knew what he was talking about. One of his worst fears was losing the ability to communicate. He worried that one day he might have dementia – but he never did – and that was his reason for leaving a gift in his Will to Alzheimer’s Research UK.
“A real character, Ernie was always happy to help anyone and was very much involved in his local community. He was a keen footballer from a young age and even had trials at Newcastle United before completing his National Service. He carried on running a women’s football team right into his 60s.
“Ernie was broken-hearted when his Maisie died with a stroke just a year before him. But his many friends rallied round to support him. Even though Ernie is no longer with us, it’s good to know his generosity and compassion are still making a difference. He remembered several charities in his Will and he’d be proud to know that his gift to Alzheimer’s Research UK will help defeat dementia.”
Ian Wilson, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia today, including nearly 14,000 people in Tyne and Wear. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health but funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases.
“We are so grateful to Ernest for remembering Alzheimer’s Research UK in his Will. His generous gift of £10,600 will pay for an incredible 530 hours of world-class scientific research. This will bring us closer to finding new ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia. We rely on public donations and gifts in Wills pay for one in three of our research projects. However big or small, these gifts allow ordinary people to make an extraordinary impact on our crucial dementia research.”