Tesco Launch Charity of the Year

1 Mar 2011

Alzheimer’s Society release new dementia figures on day of Tesco Charity of the Year announcement

Alzheimer’s Society release new dementia figures on day of Tesco Charity of the Year announcement

In 2021, over half a million people will be living with dementia that has gone undiagnosed. A new partnership between Tesco, Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland has for the first time mapped the state of dementia and diagnosis levels in the UK and announced bold plans to help fight the disease. Together, they plan to raise £5million to build a better future for people with dementia and help to raise diagnosis levels from just 40% by 2014.

The new ‘Mapping the Dementia Gap’ study reveals the number of people with dementia in each part of the UK and the percentage who receive a diagnosis. A formal diagnosis is vital for people with dementia and without it they can’t access drugs or advice on how to live more effectively with the condition. But many people delay seeking help because of low awareness of symptoms and treatments or fear they will lose their independence.

The Tesco Charity of the Year partnership, launched today (1st March) will fund new research, dementia support professionals to help those living with the condition, and a Dementia Community Roadshow that will travel around the UK raising awareness of dementia and encouraging people worried about their memory to visit their GPs.

Available in an interactive map at www.alzheimers-tesco.org.uk, the research shows that diagnosis rates vary hugely around the UK:

  • Over a million people are predicted to have dementia in 2021.
  • Dorset has the lowest rates of diagnosis with only a quarter (26%) of people really knowing they have dementia. Two thirds (69%) of people living in Belfast with dementia have had a diagnosis.
  • In 2021, the study predicts that if the current rates of diagnosis don’t change, Milton Keynes will have the biggest gap between people predicted to be living with dementia (3,116) and those who will receive a diagnosis (only 38%). In contrast, Belfast is still predicted to have the smallest diagnosis gap.
  • Milton Keynes is the fastest growing area and can expect a 56% increase in people living with the condition. Barking & Dagenham is the slowest growing area with slightly fewer people predicted to be living with dementia in ten years time than now.

Fiona Phillips, Alzheimer's Society ambassador and journalist said; “It’s shocking that so many people are struggling to cope with this devastating illness all on their own. If we don’t raise awareness of dementia, in ten years time, half a million people will be unable to give their symptoms a name and have no access to the help they so desperately need and deserve.”

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society says: “It’s really concerning that six out of ten people with dementia don’t have a diagnosis and so can’t access the support they badly need. The money raised through the Tesco partnership will help us ensure people with dementia don’t face it alone. Anyone who is concerned about their memory should visit their GP. If you’d like our Roadshow to visit a Tesco near you, visit us at www.alzheimers-tesco.org.uk and let us know.”

David Reid, Chairman, Tesco said: "There are 750,000 people living with dementia. This means that almost half of our staff and customers have a loved one or friend with dementia, so we are proud to have the opportunity to work with the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Scotland to make a real and lasting difference to their lives, from diagnosis through to treatment.”

Yvonne Wilson cares for her husband Derek, 78, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease three years ago. Yvonne, from Essex, says: “We were both worried about Derek’s memory for ages and feared going to our GP about it but it was the best thing we could have done. Derek now has access to the support and treatment he needs to live independently and the legal advice was invaluable.”

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “With our ageing population and the high number of people who never receive a diagnosis for their dementia, the need for raising awareness and encouraging people to seek help has never been greater. This initiative with Tesco, Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland is exactly the kind of partnership working we need to get out into communities and encourage people to talk about dementia.”

Help us raise £350,000 in a weekend (27/28 May) by joining us in The BIG Collection at Tesco stores across the UK. Register at www.alzheimers-tesco.org.uk or call 0845 678 7678.

Images are available and interviews can be arranged with:

  • Fiona Phillips, Alzheimer's Society ambassador and journalist
  • David Reid, Chairman, Tesco
  • Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer's Society
  • Chris and Eileen Stevens, a couple living with dementia
  • Lynn Jones, Dementia Support professional


For more information or to organise an interview, please contact:

Alzheimer's Society press desk: 020 7423 3595
Vicky Ames vicky.ames@alzheimers.org.uk / Emma Prince emma.prince@alzheimers.org.uk

Tesco press desk: 01992 644645
VJames Wiggam james.wiggam@uk.tesco.com


  • Mapping the Dementia Gap is a new, joint study from Tesco, Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland. Dementia predictions have been updated from Alzheimer's Society’s Dementia UK report (2007). The diagnosis rate is based on the register that each GP practice creates of people with dementia as part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) 2010.
  • Together Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland are Tesco Charity of the Year 2011 and hope to raise £5 million to fund Dementia Community Roadshows, Dementia Support and research.
  • The partnership with Tesco presents a three step approach to help build a better future for people with dementia:
    • The Dementia Community Roadshows will visit Tesco car parks all around the UK from June 2011. It will help bring people worried about their memory one step closer to achieving a diagnosis by encouraging them to visit their GP and arming them with the information they need to help them achieve a diagnosis
    • After diagnosis, the Dementia Support Services will help isolated families get the specialist care and advice they need
    • Two vital dementia scientists will conduct groundbreaking research into the disease and increase our understanding of possible life-changing treatments and support
  • The partnership will be supported throughout the year by a range of product promotions in Tesco stores which will donate a proportion of their sales to the charities. A donation of 0.0125p will also be made by Tesco Personal Finance PLC every time a cash machine is used at Tesco until 29 February 2012. Clubcard customers can now donate their points to Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Alzheimer’s Society - Alzheimer’s Society is the leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Alzheimer's Society provides information, education and support to help people live their lives to the full. Alzheimer’s Society also funds research to improve the lives of people today and to find a cure for tomorrow www.alzheimers.org.uk
  • Alzheimer Scotland - Alzheimer Scotland provides information and support to people with dementia, their carers and families in Scotland. We provide a national dementia helpline, a network of dementia advisors, dementia nurses, home support, support groups and a range of other services throughout Scotland. We are working to make sure no one goes through dementia on their own www.alzscot.org
  • Tesco Charity of the Year partnership - Since 1988, Tesco has chosen a different charity every year to be the focus for staff fundraising. The Tesco Charity Trust then tops up staff fundraising to a maximum of £500,000. www.tesco.com