The award-winning year-long campaign surpassed its own ambitious fundraising target of £3.5 million, with the latest figure of £4 million placing the partnership in London Marathon’s record books.
Income from the campaign is helping to fund ground-breaking research at the UK Dementia Research Institute – the most ambitious dementia research endeavour to date, bringing together the brains of 700 scientists in six cutting-edge research centres across the UK, to carry out world-leading research into dementia.
Among the 2,000 Dementia Revolution runners who took to the streets of London on 28 April were ‘Barbara’s Revolutionaries’, running in support of Dame Barbara Windsor, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014. Headed up by Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, the team included eight of Barbara’s former cast-mates and EastEnders stars: Adam Woodyatt, Jake Wood, Emma Barton, Natalie Cassidy, Kellie Shirley, Tanya Franks, Jamie Borthwick and Jane Slaughter. The team, which also included Virgin Radio host Chris Evans, raised over £550,000 between them for the Dementia Revolution campaign.
I am truly delighted that the Dementia Revolution has now raised £4 million for dementia research! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the campaign, it really does mean so much to me personally. I am so proud of Scott, my Barbara’s Revolutionaries team and everyone who took on the 26.2 miles.
Other high-profile runners included social media star Saffron Barker, Bake Off star Candice Brown, The Apprentice winner Mark Wright, and Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP. They ran alongside a wider team of ‘Revolutionaries’ that included Harry Cullen, 63, and multi-marathon runner and retired Methodist Minister Malcolm Brookes, 78, who are both living with dementia; UK DRI scientists Dr Amanda Heslegrave and Dr Luke Whiley; and Big Ben runner Lukas Bates. A video of Lukas struggling to cross the finish the line because of the height of his Big Ben costume went viral, as did the subsequent theft of his costume from a local pub.
As well as raising vital funds for research, the Dementia Revolution has also helped to overthrow old, stigmatised attitudes about dementia and show that a dementia diagnosis not a lost cause. Many people shared their own personal experiences of dementia to raise awareness of the condition, while celebrities including Ray Winstone came together for a myth-busting film.
Running the London Marathon has given me a purpose. It’s taken a long time, but it’s helped me feel like I’m coming out the other side and that there’s nothing stopping me. The day was tough, but an amazing atmosphere that made me so proud about what the Dementia Revolution has achieved for people with dementia like me.