University Awarded EU Funding for Vital Dementia Research Project

The University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies has been awarded a significant European Union (EU) research grant in order to carry out potentially vital work in helping people and families living with dementia.

The project, known as MEETINGDEM, is supported through the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), and will aim to implement and evaluate the Meeting Centres Support Programme which has achieved great success in the Netherlands.

The Meeting Centres Support Programme (MSCP) provides an innovative way of supporting people with mild to moderate dementia and their families through an evidence-based, person-centred approach.

The research grant will trial the approach in three other countries – the UK, Italy and Poland – with the University of Worcester’s Professor Dawn Brooker leading the project in the UK.

Professor Brooker says: “We are thrilled to gain this grant. The MSCP is a promising, innovative example of good practice as to how health and social care organisations and volunteers can collaborate to provide comprehensive, integrated, cost-effective, easy access support to people with dementia and their families enabling them to live longer independently with a better quality of life.

“For the Association for Dementia Studies, it is a great achievement to have been part of such a prestigious award in just the fourth year since we were established. We will be working on a pan-European project involving academic colleagues in a number of EU countries.

“In the UK we are partnering with Professor Martin Orrell from UCL and we will lead the work on the evaluation methodology for the whole programme. I’d like to thank everyone for their part in this but particularly to Dr Simon Evans, who worked very hard on the preparation of this bid.”

The 36-month project will be split into two phases – phase one will see the University of Worcester team evaluate and develop UK-specific plans, while the second phase will include the implementation and analysis of the MSCP in one region of each country.

Professor Brooker will be working alongside Dr Simon Evans, Senior Research Fellow, Dr Karan Jutlla, Senior Lecturer, and Mike Watts, Senior Administrator.

The total grant for the project is for €1,119,819 with the UK-based research being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and the University of Worcester receiving €375,000 for its work over the next three years.

This year, JPND has provided funding for five projects under the banner of ‘European research projects for the evaluation of health care policies, strategies and interventions for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

More information on JPND-supported projects can be found at www.jpnd.eu.