Dame Julie Walters in plea over funding for dementia research

Multi award-winning actress Dame Julie Walters is backing a petition calling on the Government to honour its election pledge to double funding for dementia research.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:37 pm

And Dame Julie - who lives near Horsham - is calling on the public to help.

Alzheimer’s Research UK reveals that 94 per cent of dementia researchers are concerned progress is at risk due to fewer funding opportunities.

More than 44,000 people have signed the research group’s petition, along with Golden Globe and BAFTA winner Dame Julie.

Julie Walters

Dame Julie – whose grandmother died with vascular dementia – says the Government cannot cast aside the promise it made to the public.

“As someone who witnessed the effects of dementia growing up, I am proud to be standing with the tens of thousands of people who are calling on government to deliver on its election promise to double investment into researching the condition,” she said.

“My grandmother had vascular dementia and she lived with us when we were kids. We didn’t really understand her symptoms, but we all loved her to bits.

“I still don’t know how my mother coped having to care for her and look after three young children.

“It’s appalling that over half of us know someone affected by dementia, yet there are no treatments to slow, stop or prevent it.

“Far too many families are being forced to experience the pain dementia causes on a daily basis because of the lack of treatments and to put it simply, enough is enough.

“There is an urgent need for research to bring about life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia. With the tragic impact Covid-19 has had on those with the condition, the funding promised by government is more critical now than it ever has been and it’s clear the public agrees.

“I’d urge everyone to sign this petition, so we can make it clear to government that we will not let their promise be cast aside.”

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It’s been well over a year since the government pledged to boost dementia research, but with no real indication that this funding is being delivered, it’s time for this promise to be backed with clear action.

“While it’s right that the response to the pandemic has had to take priority, dementia is our greatest long-term health crisis and the lives of people affected by dementia are being torn apart by Covid-19. The search for life-changing dementia treatments has never been more critical.

“We’re so grateful to have Dame Julie Walters standing with the thousands who have signed our petition calling on government to deliver on its election promise. With research efforts at risk and people with dementia bearing the brunt of the pandemic, this instrumental investment must be made a reality and it cannot come soon enough.”

You can sign the petition here: alzres.uk/sign-our-petition