The Salford Institute for Dementia, based at the University of Salford, has received a generous donation of £300,000 from The Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust to fund its ground-breaking work on living well with dementia.
The Institute was launched at the end of 2013 in response to the growing number of people with dementia in the UK. There are currently 800,000 people living with the condition and the number is set to double over the next 40 years; raising important questions about how research can be harnessed to preserve their independence and quality of life for as long as possible.
The Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust awards grants to registered charities which support medical research, the elderly and people who have fallen on hard times. It has awarded £300,000 over the next three years with the potential for a further £200,000 donation after this time.
The money will be used to fund a professorship to lead vital research in one of the Institute’s work streams in the built environment, technology, product design, arts and emotion and positive models of support and care.
Professor Maggie Pearson, the University’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Public Benefit and Dean of the College of Health & Social Care, said: “This incredibly generous donation will enable us to really push forward with research and education in one of the Institute’s areas of work.
“We will continue to work with people affected by dementia to define the priority areas for research, and in taking the work forward to develop an evidence base which can make a real difference to the quality of their everyday lives.
“We are very excited about the opportunity this donation gives us to open up new areas of research which have not yet been addressed.”
John Parkinson, Chairman of the Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust, said: “The Trustees were very pleased that they were able to support the new Salford Institute for Dementia with this grant. They feel that any research into support, in the widest sense, for dementia sufferers and their carers is money well spent.”
MP for Salford and Eccles, Hazel Blears, whose mum has dementia, has a special interest in the Institute’s work. She chairs its advisory board, saying: “I am delighted that Salford is at the forefront of research which will help to establish which activities and interventions work best for people with this awful condition.
“Whether that is through singing, dancing or attending a social group, it has the potential to really improve the well-being of both people with dementia and the loved ones who care for them.
“This kind donation will contribute significantly to the Institute’s vital work, which in the long-run should make life better for tens of thousands of people with dementia, both in Salford and beyond.”