The Bristol office of accountancy, investment management and tax group, Smith & Williamson, has announced BRACE as its charity of the year for 2016-17.

Around 200 staff from Smith & Williamson’s Bristol office voted for their charity of choice and BRACE came out on top. Funds raised by the firm over the next 12 months will help to maintain BRACE’s cutting edge Brain Bank in the Learning and Research Centre at Southmead Hospital.

Mike Lea, Managing Partner at Smith & Williamson’s Bristol office, recently visited the SW Dementia Brain Bank (SWDBB) where he met BRACE’s Chief Executive Mark Poarch and Brain Bank Manager Dr Laura Palmer for a tour of the facility and to find out more about the ground-breaking work that is being done.

Mike Lea said, “Dementia touches the lives of so many people and BRACE is doing an incredible job in funding research to better understand this devastating condition. We are delighted to announce BRACE as the main beneficiary of our fundraising activities over the next 12 months. We look forward to hearing more about their work and doing as much as we can to help.”

Mark Poarch, Chief Executive of BRACE, said, “We were delighted to hear of Smith & Williamson’s decision to support dementia research with BRACE. The backing of a major professional firm can have such an impact on our fundraising and help us to build urgently-needed resources for new science here in the South West.” 

He continued, “It was great to show Mike the world-leading research facilities represented by the Brain Bank. Funding research remains the best hope we have to find real treatments for this cruel condition. The Smith & Williamson team are setting about their fundraising task with great enthusiasm and I know they will make a big difference this year.”

Photo: from left, Mark Poarch and Amanda Cole (BRACE), Mike Lea (Smith & Williamson) and Dr Laura Palmer (SWDBB)