The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need 24/25 - hold an umbrella over someone's head

Four supermarkets pledge carrier bag funds to fight dementia

Howard Lake | 6 October 2015 | News

Supermarkets Iceland, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose are together donating their income from the single-use carrier bag levy in England to fund a dementia research centre at UCL.
The Dementia Research Institute will bring together researchers from across UCL and UCLH to lead national and international efforts to find effective treatments and improve the lives of those with dementia. The £350 million project currently has a shortfall in funding of £100 million. The supermarkets estimate that their plastic bag funds will raise £20 million towards that in the first year.
From 5 October larger retailers in England must charge 5p for the sale of each plastic bag. Many are donating their income to charity.
The supermarkets are not keeping any income from the plastic bag sale to cover overheads: they say that 100% of funds generated by the plastic bag sales will be donated to support the dementia research centre.
Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, said:

“Dementia is the greatest scientific, medical and socio-economic challenge of our times and affects more than 35 million people worldwide. UCL, through its translational neuroscience at Queen Square, can bring the breadth and depth of expertise required to deliver therapeutic advances to this devastating condition. Philanthropy has made a huge difference in tackling global diseases such as cancer and malaria and this unprecedented initiative sees UK retailers acting collaboratively to tackle the tragedy that is dementia and neurodegenerative diseases.”

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, added:


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

“It’s enormously encouraging to see major retailers with huge influence over the public putting themselves forward to help solve the dementia challenge. With a global aim to produce a disease-modifying treatment that can bring relief to people with dementia by 2025, dementia research has big ambitions and will need big initiatives to realise them. UCL is home to one of our three new dementia Drug Discovery Institutes, which will spearhead the search for the next generation of treatments – it will take scientists working collaboratively on this scale to bring relief to millions of lives blighted by dementia worldwide.”

Other food retailers invited to join

The Chief Executives of Iceland, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose have also written to the CEOs of all other UK food retailers, inviting them to join the partnership to raise even more funds for the centre from the plastic bag levy.