Hilary & Galen Weston Foundation grants $400,000 to Nipissing University to establish rare dementia support service

North Bay, ON – The Hilary and Galen Weston Foundation has granted $400,000 to Nipissing University to support the establishment and growth of a new a support service for Canadians living with rare and young onset dementia called Rare Dementia Support Canada (RDS Canada).

Led by Nipissing University professor of social work and social gerontology, Dr. Mary Pat Sullivan, RDS Canada will be delivered in partnership with Rare Dementia Support (RDS), University College London (UCL) in the UK. RDS is a world-leading service provided by the UCL Dementia Research Centre and partners and funded by The National Brain Appeal.

“We would like to thank the Hilary & Galen Weston Foundation for their vision and generous support of this initiative which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the lives of many Canadians living with rare and young onset dementia,” said Dr. Kevin Wamsley, President & Vice-Chancellor, Nipissing University. “Dr. Sullivan’s work in this field is inspiring and we are proud to host this national service here at Nipissing University.”

“Brain health and wellbeing is something our family is committed to supporting, so we are very pleased to contribute to the development of RDS Canada at Nipissing University to ensure Canadians living with rare dementia gain access to important resources informed by the latest research,” said Hilary Weston of the Hilary and Galen Weston Foundation.

Almost four million people across the globe are living with young onset dementia (30-64 years of age). Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, there are other diseases and conditions that can lead to dementia. These rarer forms often affect people who are younger in age.

RDS Canada will provide a virtual space for anyone affected by a rare dementia, offering access to information, tailored individual and group support and guidance, and connection with others who are affected by similar conditions. The RDS Canada team will include dementia care practitioner specialists, researchers, educators and individuals with lived experience.

“I am deeply grateful to the Hilary & Galen Weston Foundation for this generous gift and their ongoing support and championing of brain health initiatives across the globe,” said Dr. Mary Pat Sullivan. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with the large international team at RDS in the UK to advance our research in this area and provide evidence-informed services to this often-overlooked group.”

For more information about the services offered through RDS Canada, visit: https://www.nipissingu.ca/rdscanada.



Meghan Venasse
Manager, Communications
Nipissing University
705-474-3450 ext. 4615

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