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The Selfridges Group Foundation

The Selfridges Group Foundation is a charitable organisation that was created to support research into treatment for those affected by neurodegenerative disesases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Founded in 2015 by W. Galen Weston, the Foundation supports a range of charitable activities in the same communities as our European stores.

Working with the Weston Brain Institute and their scientific advisory board, The Foundation selects world class research projects in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Ireland with a special focus on discovering new biomarkers that will help to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages, and ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

Eligible neuroscience research

The Foundation will consider funding translational scientific research into biomarkers and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases of aging, namely:

    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Dementia with Lewy bodies
    • Frontotemporal dementia
    • Multiple system atrophy
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Progressive supranuclear palsy
    • Vascular contributions to the above diseases (not stroke-mediated vascular disease)
    • Prodromes to the listed diseases, including:
    • mild cognitive impairment as prodromal to Alzheimer’s disease
    • REM sleep behaviour disorder as prodromal to Parkinson’s disease

As previously mentioned, we support the development and validation of biomarkers, provided that they measure pathology of a disease (e.g., fluid, imaging or tissue biopsy derived biomarkers) and not cognitive, neuropsychological or behavioural phenotype (e.g., gait or grip strength). For certainty, genetic biomarkers, including somatic mutations, SNPs, epigenetics and gene products, are in scope provided they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Research projects focusing on biomarkers must include experiments to validate their utility in tracking human disease diagnosis or prognosis (including rate of progression), stratifying subjects for clinical trials, measuring disease progression, and/or to predicting/measuring response to therapy (e.g., as a surrogate for a clinical endpoint.)

Other things to know about the Foundation’s funding scope:

    • We do not fund basic research: we only fund translational research.
    • The ongoing provision of research funding is contingent on meeting milestones: if your project is funded by the Foundation, funds are provided in tranches as experimental milestones are successfully reached.
    • Our application process is interactive: you will likely receive feedback on your application and may be asked to make modifications.
    • We provide more than funding: our grantees also benefit from expert advice from our scientific advisors, industry exposure, and networking opportunities.

For more information on the Foundation’s criteria for research funding, please visit the Weston Brain Institute’s website at westonbrain.co.uk

 

Patient and Family Support

Sadly, there is no cure for many neurodegenerative diseseases ,and few therapies. That is why the Foundation also supports organisations that are offering innovative emotional support, and practical advice, for sufferers and their carers. We are pleased to be funding Rare Dementia Support, a service run by clinicians at UCL that provides advice, support and education for those suffering from rare dementias, and those who care for them.

COVID 19 Emergency Funding

In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has worked with funding partners to make donations available for those who are most vulnerable at this time, including the elderly. Age UK, Age Action Ireland and Alzheimer’s Ireland are three charities who are providing a lifeline to those who are self-isolating. The Foundation is also funding a new initiative led by UK charity, Shout, to provide comprehensive emotional and psychological support service for frontline workers using text messaging. Pieta in Ireland is also expanding its ability to handle the surge in anxiety and suicide-related calls during this difficult time.