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£1 million gift from Laurence Geller accelerates pioneering work in the area of dementia care at UWL

The University of West London is delighted to announce a £1 million gift from its Chancellor, Laurence Geller CBE, to establish a new Institute for Dementia Care (IDC).

This extremely generous donation from Mr Geller, international philanthropist and founder of Innovative Aged Care, will enable the University to accelerate its pioneering work in the area of dementia care.

The Institute for Dementia Care will drive a ground-breaking, trans-disciplinary approach encompassing the arts, social sciences, food & nutrition and nursing to deliver both person-centred and carer-centred solutions that will effect meaningful change and deliver life-improving outcomes.

A key IDC output will be a national training and accreditation scheme.

More than 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, and that number is forecast to double over the coming decades. With no sign of a cure in the near future, there is an urgent need for solutions that help people live well with the condition.

Laurence Geller CBE, Chancellor of the University of West London, said: ‘This is an excellent example of UWL doing what it does best – identifying skills gaps and meeting market-driven needs. This is a unique opportunity for UWL to partner with industry to provide trained staff, knowledge and expertise where and when it is needed. It will relieve pressure on NHS resources and provide a key plate in the armour needed to tackle the challenge of providing good, qualified care for those living with dementia.’

Thanking the Chancellor for his generous gift, Professor Peter John, Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London, commented: ‘This is a significant gift for which we are very grateful. It will enable the University to accelerate its work and outputs in this critically important area. Until there is a cure for dementia, it is good care that will have the single biggest, positive impact on those living with the condition. UWL will be the standard-bearer for high quality dementia care. We are committed to delivering tangible solutions in this regard through education, training and research.’

Laurence Geller CBE, Chancellor of the University of West London

The announcement of the gift to establish the Institute for Dementia Care was made at the first annual Dementia Friendly London Summit at the GLA on Monday 21 May, as part of Dementia Action Week (21 – 27 May 2018).

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who met with people living with dementia at the event, said: 'To make a difference, and to become a dementia-friendly city, we all need to work together. Today’s summit demonstrates a collective commitment by the GLA, Alzheimer’s Society and many other bodies to create a truly dementia-friendly London.

'The sky’s the limit and we can all take action. We all have a role to play to ensure that people affected by dementia in London – no matter who they are or where they live – are able to live well with the condition and enjoy all our vibrant city has to offer.'

UWL already offers a number of courses in the area of dementia care including an MSc in Dementia Care and a Health-Assistant Practitioner -- Dementia Care apprenticeship programme, providing much needed knowledge and expertise to the healthcare sector.

The IDC aims to set professional standards, make recommendations and issue guidance for practitioners. It will have an applied focus, engaging in research that will deliver useful innovations including practical and behavioural ‘toolkits’ for use by both trained professionals and ‘lay’ carers of those living with dementia.

Find out more about the University's research in the area of dementia care. Check out UWL on Twitter: @UniWestLondon