Alzheimer’s Research UK and PageGroup launch £200,000 partnership

Bike ride marks the start of a 200,000-mile fundraising challenge.

Posted on 1st May 2013

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, and specialist recruitment company PageGroup, have announced a two-year Charity Partnership that will give dementia research a £200,000 boost. The partnership, which comes after Alzheimer’s Research UK was selected in a staff vote, will see PageGroup employees look to raise enough money to pay for two three-year PageGroup Research Scholarships.

Olly Watson, Managing Director and Andrew Bracey, Chief Financial Officer at PageGroup launched the partnership together with Prof Jeremy Turnbull of the University of Liverpool, who will train and mentor one of PageGroup’s two Research Scholars. To mark the launch of a 200,000-mile fundraising drive that starts today, Mr Watson, Mr Bracey and Prof Turnbull pedalled the first mile of the challenge through the streets of London. Over the next two years, 1,300 staff at the company’s 31 offices across the UK will attempt to cover this massive distance between them – the equivalent of 154 miles for each employee – with a range of fundraising events. The distance can be travelled by any means, and challenges could include anything from cycling, walking, rowing or running to a host of other creative methods of covering the distance.

Research Scholar Hannah Clarke will begin her work in Prof Turnbull’s lab in the next few months. During the three-year project, she will investigate whether complex sugars found naturally in the body could be altered to block the production of the toxic amyloid protein – a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease. The project could help identify new ways of tackling the catastrophic build-up of amyloid in the brain, a key target for new treatments. A second scholarship will get underway late in the next year.

The UK is home to world-leading scientists, but dementia research is still poorly resourced, with just one researcher working on dementia for every six working on cancer. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Research Scholarships are designed to help address this problem by fostering new talent and bringing bright researchers into the field on PhD programmes. PageGroup’s support will give a vital boost to this effort by supporting two scientists in this way. In addition to supporting six years of research, these scholarships will invest in two of the brightest, most promising scientists of tomorrow – helping to build capacity and strengthen the dementia research field.

Mr Watson said:

“As worldwide leader in specialist recruitment, at PageGroup we understand better than anyone the value of having the right people with the right skills to get a job done. It’s important for people to be given the right support to reach their potential, so it’s great for us to be able to help scientists to develop essential skills as well as funding vital research into this devastating disease.

“It seems that most people know someone with dementia these days, and we were shocked to discover that funding for dementia research still lags behind other serious diseases. Our staff welcome a challenge, and I’m confident they’ll pull together to do everything they can for this important cause. I’m delighted to be able to start them off with the first mile of our challenge – that’s one down and just 199,999 miles to go!”

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We’re thrilled to have PageGroup’s support – we know their staff across the UK are a committed and enthusiastic group, and we look forward to seeing them in action over the coming months. Dementia is one of the greatest medical challenges we face today, and defeating it will not only take money but people too. We urgently need to boost the number of researchers working on dementia, and our Research Scholarships are designed to help do that by bringing talented new scientists into the field. We know that as recruitment specialists, PageGroup has a strong track record of investing in people, so it’s fitting that their support will help nurture promising researchers like Hannah.

“Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, which affects 820,000 people across the UK today, yet we currently lack treatments that can stop the disease in its tracks. We rely on our supporters to be able to fund our work, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the staff at PageGroup for giving us their backing with this fantastic challenge.”

Posted in Archive