Boris Johnson has welcomed Scott Mitchell, widow of the late Barbara Windsor, to No. 10 Downing Street as he launches a new ‘national mission’ to tackle Dementia in memory of the beloved Carry On and EastEnders actress.
The Prime Minister met Mr Mitchell, 59, on the garden terrace earlier this week, and expressed his gratitude to the couple for what they have achieved by campaigning against the syndrome.
The couple also discussed the significant suffering caused by dementia and the slow process of finding treatments and cures.
Then today, in one of his last acts as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson pledged to double funding to £160m a year by 2024 and provide £95m for research into the ‘devastating situation’.
Boris Johnson has welcomed Scott Mitchell, widow of the late Barbara Windsor, to 10 Downing Street as he launches a new ‘national mission’ to tackle dementia in memory of beloved Carry On and EastEnders actress
Dame Barbra Windsor is kissed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, London, September 2, 2019, to promote dementia care
The Prime Minister met Mr Mitchell, 59, on the garden terrace earlier this week and expressed his gratitude to the couple for what they have achieved by campaigning against the syndrome
The pair also discussed the significant suffering caused by dementia and the slow process of finding treatments and cures
He also called for a “Bab’s army” of volunteers, with or without a family history of dementia, to come forward to participate in clinical trials of new preventive therapies.
One million people are predicted to live with dementia by 2025, and 1.6 million by 2040. Up to 40 percent of dementia cases are potentially preventable, but the causes are still poorly understood.
Dame Barbara, who was famous for her roles in the Carry On films and as pub landlady Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, was diagnosed in 2016 with Alzheimer’s disease – the most common cause of degenerative brain disease.
With her husband, the star campaigned to raise research funds and publicize the disease until her death, four years later, at age 83.
The Prime Minister said: ‘Dame Barbara Windsor was a British hero. I had the pleasure of meeting her on both the set of EastEnders and Downing Street as we talked about dementia.
“I am delighted that we can now honor her in such a fitting way and launch a new national dementia mission in her name.
“In partnership with her husband Scott, I’m doubling research funding and calling on volunteers to join Babs’ army. We can work together to defeat this disease and honor an exceptional woman who tirelessly campaigned for change.”
Mitchell, the actress’s third husband, said: “Barbara would be so proud to have had this legacy, which hopefully will mean that in the future, families won’t have to go through the same heartbreaking experience that she and I had to go through. to persevere.
Mr Johnson receives Mr Mitchell, Dame Barbara’s third husband and an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK
After the pair met, Mr Johnson in one of his last acts as Prime Minister pledged to double funding to £160m a year by 2024 and provide £95m for research into the ‘devastating situation’
“I can’t help but think she’s looking down proudly.”
Downing Street said the mission would be led by a new task force, bringing together industry, the NHS, academics and families living with the disease.
It will build on recent advances in biological and data sciences, including genomics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the latest brain imaging technology, to test new treatments from a growing number of potential options.
Mr Mitchell is ambassador for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and Hilary Evans, the charity’s director, said: ‘The vaccine task force has torn the rulebook on how drug discovery, drug testing and drug licensing are done. done.
“With promising Phase III clinical trial results expected for a number of potential new treatments in the coming months, now is the time for political will and clear leadership from top government to ensure that new and approved treatments reach the people here.” in the UK as soon as possible.’
Volunteers can register their interest through the Join Dementia Research website.