What’s the connection between the South West Dementia Brain Bank and one of the best-known characters in the classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses?

The answer is that actor John Challis, who played Boycie, is uncle to the SWDBB Manager, Dr Laura Palmer.

We were delighted to welcome John yesterday, when he came to see what Laura and her colleagues are doing as part of the worldwide drive to defeat dementia. As John explained to BBC and ITV journalists, he knows only too well how much pain dementia can cause, having seen his own father develop the condition.

You can hear his interview in this BBC podcast. There are also interviews with Laura Palmer, two people taking part in clinical research as volunteers, and BRACE Chief Executive Mark Poarch (starting at about 54:00 and again at 2:05:00).

Laura was supported by BRACE as a PhD student and is now playing a senior role in dementia research as Manager of one of the most important resources for research in the UK. One of the ways in which BRACE supports research is by helping young scientists progress to become the next generation of leading researchers.

The work of the Brain Bank itself is critical to dementia research in the South West and further afield. As John Challis said, “The work being done here through BRACE is remarkable.”

BRACE is proud to be associated with this brilliant team of scientists.

You can also see John’s short video below, explaining why dementia research matters.