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Leinster Rugby has announced the Alzheimer Society of Ireland as its first charity partner of the 2021/22 season as part of the Charity Affiliate Programme which was first launched in November 2020.
Like last season, Leinster Rugby will once again work with a new charity each month in the hope of raising the profile of that charity and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the first charity selected by the club.
Last season Leinster Rugby worked with charities such as Women’s Aid, CRY, As I Am, LauraLynn and the Gavin Glynn Foundation over the course of the year to help raise their profile in the province and beyond.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the leading dementia-specific service provider in Ireland and works across the country in the heart of local communities providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers.
The charity is a national non-profit organisation and also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline 1800 341 341 offering information and support to anyone affected by dementia.
The charity has also worked with Leinster Rugby before and was a charity partner back in 2015 when initiatives such as Rugby Memories were launched.
It is estimated that 31,693 people are living with dementia in the 12 counties of Leinster alone and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland looks to support them and their families and carers.
For the month of November, Leinster Rugby will lend its digital support to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and its considerable efforts to raise awareness of dementia.
Speaking at Leinster Rugby head office in UCD, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland CEO Pat McLoughlin said, “I am delighted that The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is teaming up with Leinster Rugby as part of their charity affiliate programme.
“There are 64,000 people living with dementia in Ireland and each year there are 11,000 new cases – that means today, tomorrow and the next day 30 people per day will be diagnosed.
“In Leinster alone, there are an estimated 31,693 people currently living with dementia. We are so very grateful to the management and staff of Leinster Rugby who have all taken such a keen interest in our charity.
“This partnership will allow us to build public awareness of our supports and services in the Leinster area and all across Ireland and to raise much-needed funds to support those living with dementia and their carers.
“We are heavily reliant on donations and partnerships such as this to keep our services going, so we are very grateful to everyone at Leinster Rugby for giving us their incredible support.”
Leinster Rugby also confirmed that Bank of Ireland would support the charity partner scheme again this season and that its Player of the Month Award donation will now be made to the monthly charity affiliate, rather than the player in question, a move that is also supported by the Leinster Rugby players.
Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity partnerships of behalf of Leinster Rugby said, “It’s great to see a charity that we have history with back involved with Leinster Rugby and it was great to meet with their team here this morning in UCD.
“I know from working with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland back in 2015 what brilliant work they do and hopefully we can help raise awareness of that work in the coming weeks.
“We are very grateful in Leinster Rugby to Bank of Ireland for their continued support of this initiative. We launched this scheme last season in response to Covid and we worked with some amazing charities on a local and a national level.
“It is brilliant to be able to launch a similar scheme again here today and I am delighted that the Alzheimer Society of Ireland are the first charity selected.”
Like all of the charities selected, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with the premium sponsors and partners and the Official Leinster Supporters Club.
For more information, visit www.alzheimer.ie
Further information about the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Leinster Rugby Charity Affiliate Programme:
• The charities supported by Leinster Rugby during the last year include Women’s Aid (November), Debra Ireland (December), numerous local causes supported by Bank of Ireland (January), ALONE (February), Pieta (March), AsIAm (April), LauraLynn (May), the Gavin Glynn Foundation (June), Irish Heart Foundation (August) and CRY (September)
• The selection process for all of the charities includes the input of the Leinster Rugby players, Leinster Rugby sponsors and partners and also the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC)
About The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI):
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the leading dementia-specific service provider in Ireland. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland works across the country in the heart of local communities providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers. Their vision is an Ireland where people on the journey of dementia are valued and supported. A national non-profit organisation, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland advocates, empowers and champions the rights of people living with dementia and their communities to quality support and services. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline offering information and support to anyone affected by dementia on 1800 341 341. The Helpline is open six days a week Monday to Friday 10am–5pm and Saturday 10am–4pm on 1800 341 341. Email at [email protected] or via Live Chat at www.alzheimer.ie
Facts about dementia in Ireland:
• There are 64,000 people with dementia in Ireland and the number of people with the condition will more than double in the next 25 years to over 150,000 by 2045.*
• There are 11,000 new cases of dementia in Ireland each year. That’s at least 30 people every day and anyone can get dementia – even people in their 30s/40s/50s.**
• Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions which cause changes and damage to the brain.
• Dementia is progressive. There is currently no cure. Dementia is not simply a health issue but a social issue that requires a community response.
• The majority of people with dementia (63%) live at home in the community. Over 180,000 people in Ireland are currently or have been carers for a family member or partner with dementia with many more providing support and care in other ways.
• 1 in 10 people diagnosed with dementia in Ireland are under 65.
Figures referenced to Cahill, S. & Pierce, M. (2013) The Prevalence of Dementia in Ireland
*Figure referenced from Alzheimer Europe (2020) Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2019 ‘Estimating the prevalence of dementia in Europe’
**Figure referenced from Pierce, T., O’Shea, E. and Carney P. (2018) Estimates of the prevalence, incidence and severity of dementia in Ireland.