BRACE is marking 30 years funding world class dementia research with a nationwide video campaign capturing the voices of people from all walks of life who want to defeat dementia.

We are building an online video gallery that will eventually feature hundreds of very different voices ranging from campaigners to scientists to those who’ve been affected by these diseases, saying why defeating dementia is so important to them.

Now BRACE is calling on locals here in Bristol to join the campaign and send in their 30 second videos. You can watch the gallery grow from our YouTube page. We also have a 30th anniversary page that will flag up activities throughout the year.

Chief Executive Mark Poarch said it was a real tribute to the people of the region and many further afield that BRACE had been able to support research for three decades.

He said, “We can only exist thanks to the generosity of individuals and businesses who all share our mission to defeat dementia. Although we are still searching for the holy grail, a cure for dementia, much progress has been made in the last 30 years understanding the mechanisms by which this illness works. 

“It is my sincere wish that BRACE will not be needed in 30 years’ time because we will have defeated dementia. However, we know that it will take many more years before we overcome dementia in all its forms, and we shall need the continued support of the public through donations, fundraising and gifts in wills

“We wanted to launch the video campaign to illustrate that it really is people power that has fuelled and motivated us since 1987.”

Amongst its list of many major achievements in the last 30 years BRACE has

  • helped establish the South West Dementia Brain Bank, a global resource of brains donated for research which has led the publication of more than 100 scientific studies;
  • helped create the Bristol Brain Centre at Southmead Hospital;
  • led the development of an internationally recognised dementia assessment tool, the Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale (BADLS) and
  • supported hundreds of PhD students in their dementia research, ensuring the future of this vital work.

Mark added that Bristol and the surrounding area had become a major centre for dementia research. He explained, "When the charity was launched, dementia was very much a hidden illness; few really spoke about it and there was a huge stigma around the disease. In the following years we have seen the condition slowly come out of the shadows and Bristol, with its hospitals and universities, has emerged as a leading centre for research on a world stage. Our funding has in part helped make that happen.”

You can also show your support for BRACE in its 30th year by buying one of the red and white ribbons available in various shops and receptions in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

BRACE will be hosting a range of events throughout the year to mark its birthday, including a concert from renowned classical violinist and BRACE Ambassador Julia Hwang. It will also continue its regular activities, including a conference and various workshops, to deepen public understanding of dementia.