Alzheimer’s Research UK raised £33.8m in voluntary donations in the year to 31 March 2021 despite the pandemic, the charity’s annual accounts have revealed.
The accounts, published this morning, show the charity’s overall income was £39.2m, down from £40.8m last year, with voluntary income having fallen from £38m last year.
But, in a statement, the charity said its financial performance had been “much stronger than seemed possible at the start of the year”.
The charity said that, like many other charities, pandemic restrictions had limited its ability to raise funds over the past year, with the accounts showing decreases in all forms of donations and legacy income.
Income from charitable activities also fell by 52 per cent during the year, from £989,753 in 2019/20 to £476,915.
In a statement accompanying the report, ARUK said: “ In the face of uncertainty about the possible financial impact of the pandemic, the charity took the difficult decision to pause funding for new research, in order to protect its existing commitments to ongoing studies.”
But, the charity said, many ARUK-funded researchers had pivoted their work to focus on analysing data and writing up findings, leading to the publication of a record 382 new research papers, up 40 per cent on the previous year.
Early in 2021, the charity was able to award new grants for early career researchers whose projects were most affected by funding shortages, as well as creating a Covid-19 Support Fund to help 14 projects get back on track. It spent £21.3m on charitable activities, including £17.3m in its research programmes.
The charity’s overall expenditure was £31.2m, down from £39.8m in 2019/20.
In a statement, Hilary Evans, chief executive of ARUK, said: ““This has been a hugely challenging year for everyone working to bring an end to dementia, and we’re immensely proud of what our supporters have enabled us to achieve in the face of this challenge.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has donated, found new ways to fundraise during lockdowns, and supported our campaigns during one of the most difficult periods of our history.
“It’s thanks to all those who support our work that today Alzheimer’s Research UK is in a much stronger position than we had thought would be possible at the start of the year.”
She said the charity must not let the challenges of the past year hinder momentum on developing new treatments for dementia.