Leading charity receives “game-changing” £3.8million boost for dementia research

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By Philip Tubby | Tuesday 20 March 2018

The Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity has donated £3.8 million to Alzheimer’s Research UK, Europe’s leading dementia research charity. The gift, among the largest ever made to Alzheimer’s Research UK, will support pioneering science at universities around the country.

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK and last year emerged as the country’s leading cause of death. The condition costs the UK economy £26bn a year, yet funding for dementia research still lags behind that of conditions like cancer and heart disease.

Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vision is a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia and it is the only UK-wide charity with a sole focus on supporting groundbreaking research into the condition. The charity receives no government funding for its research and relies on the generosity of the public to power projects and strategic initiatives across the UK and globally. Scientists supported by the charity are working tirelessly to speed up the search for diagnostics, preventions and treatments that can change the lives of people with dementia and their carers.

The Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity has donated over £50 million since it was established in 1995, the majority of which has helped to advance medical research. Although it has supported dementia research through gifts in the past, this is the largest donation the charity has ever given towards the condition in its history.

An important strategic initiative led by Alzheimer’s Research UK has been named in recognition of the donation. The Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity Prevention and Risk Reduction Fund represents the UK’s largest charitable investment in dementia risk reduction research and in 2017, it supported four innovative projects exploring strategies that can support healthy brain function into old age.

Mike Gooley, Chairman of Trailfinders and its foundation, said:

“Dementia now represents our greatest medical challenge. Research has the power to transform how diseases like Alzheimer’s are diagnosed and to help people take steps to reduce their risk, and with these advances will come new opportunities to develop treatments that can slow or stop these devastating diseases in their tracks.

“We are delighted to support Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity that has such singular focus on funding groundbreaking dementia research. Having witnessed the growing impact that this charity is having not just in the UK but internationally, I have every confidence that this donation will be used to power areas of science that are most critically important to delivering life-changing dementia treatments for the future.”

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This extraordinary donation by the Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity will have a game-changing impact on our work, helping us to fund more research than ever before and powering much-needed progress towards new ways to help people living with dementia. To recognise such an exceptional contribution to dementia research, we are proud to name our innovative Prevention Fund in their honour.

“As a fundraising charity we rely on generous donations from individuals and organisations to fund our research. Every donation, big or small, takes us closer to our vision of a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia and we’d like to thank the Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity for their belief in the work of the charity and our scientists.”


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Philip Tubby