Research lab visit for daughter of dementia sufferer

Sylvia Edmondson with Professor David Allsop.
Sylvia Edmondson with Professor David Allsop.

The daughter of a farmer who died from dementia has visited the lab at Lancaster University where researchers are trying to find a way to prevent this devastating condition.

Sylvia Edmondson’s father Jimmy Woodhouse died from dementia at the age of 76 in 2010.

She was inspired to raise funds after reading about the research in the Lancaster Guardian, which featured the work of Professor David Allsop and his team.

They are currently working on drugs to cure Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as ways in which to diagnose these diseases earlier.

Sylvia said: “Dementia is such a cruel disease because you lose them twice.

“It was five years of living hell before he died because he didn’t know his own family. I wanted this money to go where it would do some good and I had no idea this amazing research was taking place on my own doorstep.”

She was shown around the lab at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine, where Professor David Allsop said the donation of £865 would be used to carry out one of the tests needed to assess the safety of a new drug currently in development to halt Alzheimer’s.

He said: “We are always looking for funding to take our work forwards and are particularly grateful for this support from the local community.”

Sylvia and fellow fundraiser Janet Kenyon organised a “safari supper” for 170 people, with each course being served at a different location.

Diners began with a starter at the Wray Institute before people walked the three miles to Roeburndale West for the main course and pudding at two different farms.

The event was supported by the local communities in Wray, Roeburndale East and West who all helped with everything from the starter to pudding.

The money raised from the dinner was split equally between dementia research at Lancaster University and in Zimbabwe.