Coronavirus: Alzheimer's Society faces loss of up to £45m

Alzheimer's Society is facing 'an extensive financial deficit' and could lose as much as £45m in income due to the pandemic, the charity's chief executive has said.

Kate Lee – who started her role at the charity at the beginning of lockdown – told Charity Times the charity has been "hit hard" by the pandemic and has been forced to adapt services quickly and under intense pressure.

"The 850,000 people in the UK with dementia have borne the brunt of the pandemic, accounting for a quarter of all UK deaths from the virus, and our staff have worked urgently to adapt services to make sure they and their families aren’t left to face this crisis alone," she said.

She said the charity is increasing its focus on 'resilience and crisis management' at leadership level to ensure it could help claw back some of the lost funds and mitigate any potential damage from crises like this in future.

Contingency and scenario planning will also form part of the charity's focus to ensure it's "prepared for what comes next".

"Above all, it means doubling down on our core values: listening to and learning from the experiences of people affected by dementia, innovating our services, and taking the best qualities of our Covid-19 response – agility, pace, adaptability – into this uncertain future," she said.

There have been been over half a million instances of people engaging with the charity's services since lockdown began, showing "people need us now more than ever", Lee added.

“Our Dementia Advisers now deliver support over the phone, we’ve adapted our Cupcake Day and Memory Walk fundraising events to incorporate social distancing, and we’re running Singing for the Brain virtually. We also launched Companion Calls; a volunteer-led service offering a regular phone call for people with dementia who need someone to talk to.

“We know that the impact of lockdown will have a devastating effect on people affected by dementia for a long time to come."

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