The People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund has awarded £5m to two major dementia charities.
Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK will use the funds to deliver their joint project, which aims to enable the introduction of a simple blood test in the NHS that will help diagnose dementia.
The award is the biggest in the history of the Dream Fund, which has supported 36 ‘dream projects’ and awarded more than £24m to initiatives across the UK.
Since starting in 2005, the People’s Postcode Lottery has raised £1.1bn for charities in the UK and overseas.
Kate Lee and Hilary Evans, the chief executives of the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, respectively, said they were delighted to be working together on the “revolutionary” project.
Lee said: “Funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery will transform dementia diagnosis forever by accelerating the use of a revolutionary blood test on the NHS and, crucially, creating a legacy for millions of families in the future who will benefit from an early diagnosis.
Evans said: “Anxiously waiting months and months for a diagnosis is simply not good enough. People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia deserve better. Making sure future generations won’t have to go through this lengthy worry by bringing a quick, simple blood test to the NHS is a wonderful legacy from People’s Postcode Lottery players all over the country. If we can fix the diagnosis, we open the door for a cure.”
Clara Govier, managing director at the People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “This year’s Dream Fund award of £5m is our biggest ever and will change lives for the better. We believe this new collaboration between two of the country’s leading Alzheimer’s charities has the potential to transform dementia diagnosis in the UK.
“It’s a bold ambition but, with one person in Britain developing dementia every three minutes, we must aim high. This is a condition which devastates lives and I know our millions of players will join me in wishing our charity partners every success.”