COVID-19: A message for our supporters

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By Ian Wilson | Friday 20 March 2020

We want to update all our supporters on how we’re responding to COVID-19, and how we are persevering with our important mission in extraordinary times.

We’re acutely aware of the impact the outbreak will be having on people with dementia and their families, exacerbating an already unprecedented situation. Our hearts go out to everyone in such circumstances.

We can’t pretend that things haven’t changed, but at Alzheimer’s Research UK we have the technology, resolve and commitment to adapt and to continue to deliver for millions of people with dementia around the UK and the world.

Our charity and services

Firstly, in response to government advice, our employees have moved to remote working.

Our teams are set up and functioning effectively, and we will continue to review the situation with a view to returning to the office as soon as is safe and practical. But while our office may be closed, the organisation is open, and we’re here to help you with your needs as we always are.

This means our vital Dementia Research Infoline continues to operate to help you with your questions about dementia, and to help you take part in clinical research, with studies open right now that allow participation from home.

You can contact them to find out more. Our frontline Supporter Care Team can help you with your needs as ever, though donation processing may take a bit longer than usual, so please bear with us.

Dementia research

We are in constant contact with our scientists and are working pragmatically and flexibly with the research community to enable projects to continue pressing ahead. You may also be aware that some dementia labs and clinical specialists are supporting overall COVID-19 response efforts too.

And it won’t surprise you that the ingenuity of our scientists is helping research strive to continue in the strangest of circumstances. A huge social media effort means our sadly-cancelled Research Conference is being recreated virtually to share the latest findings, ensuring worldwide knowledge in dementia science grows.

While in many clinical studies, patients are not able to be as involved as they have been, more time to analyse vast datasets will find many of our scientists detecting new patterns and developing new theories to test when we come back together.

We know from the UK Dementia Research Institute, for which we are a founding charity funder, that computer studies continue as normal, and new publications and collaborations are being prepared right now.

And our most ambitious programme of early detection – EDoN – will maintain its development ready to drive the biggest change in disease detection ever undertaken in dementia.

Your support

We would like to thank you for the kind messages and comments we’ve received in recent days.

We’ve always been bowled over at the resourcefulness and commitment of our supporters – craft fairs going online, virtual runners and riders – it’s truly inspiring.

We hope you can continue to support us during this period however you are able, and we promise to back our scientists, services and crucial activities with every resource we have available.

We know you believe and trust, like we do, that research will find a way. Research will prove its worth in the global fight against COVID-19, and research will continue to make breakthroughs possible for dementia, no matter what the world throws at us.

We wish all of you the very best and will leave you with this video from our Chief Medical Officer Prof Jonathan Schott.

Ian Wilson
Chief Executive

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About the author

Ian Wilson

Ian, Chief Executive, joined Alzheimer’s Research UK in September 2013 and is responsible for leading our fundraising, marketing and communications activities. In order to make breakthroughs possible it is critical that Alzheimer's Research UK continues to build awareness and understanding of the key issues at hand, and to raise the funding needed to drive forward our research programme.