The dementia journey

Benedict Burke, Chief Client Officer, Global Client Development spoke at a prestigious event hosted by JLT Specialty at 11 Downing Street on Tuesday 25 September, in celebration of their partnership with Alzheimer’s Society’s Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) campaign. The Rt Hon Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer rounded off the evening, reaffirming the government’s commitment to dementia research. Benedict shared with the distinguished guests his own motivations for playing a big part in IUAD.

Dementia is the health care challenge of our time.

In the U.K. it is the leading cause of death and today there are 850,000 people struggling with this terrible disease – a figure which is rising at an alarming rate.

Launched with Alzheimer’s Society and with a target to raise £10m to fund further research into this devastating disease, Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) has raised to date over £1m.

This is a fantastic milestone but clearly there are many miles to travel before we reach our final goal.

This week at Downing Street, London I was provided an opportunity to highlight the work of the IUAD and to generate support for our endeavors. Hosted by JLT Specialty, in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Society, the evening offered up an ideal platform from which to promote our efforts to a new audience of influential insurance market figures. We were also joined by the Rt Hon Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Benedict Burke_11 Downing Street_JLT Specialty celebration_Alzheimer's Society

Benedict Burke speaking at 11 Downing Street, London

As a founding member of IUAD, a role I took on because my mother, Betty, died of the disease and because it reflects so well with Crawford’s mission and values, I had the honor of speaking and highlighting the sterling work of our industry to raise funds aimed at both cure and better care of those who struggle with dementia.

The destructive effects of dementia extend beyond the mental confines of the person living with the condition and beyond the network of family and carers who support them on their distressing journey. The financial impact to the U.K. economy is an astonishing £26.3bn each year, with much of this financial impact borne by those forced to reduce their hours or leave their jobs to provide care.

That people should have to face up to an illness that, despite the fact that over one-third of people in the U.K. born today will develop dementia in their lifetime, still has no cure and cannot be slowed in its progression, is astounding.

This was the message that I delivered to distinguished guests who had gathered at Downing Street. I urged attendees to help IUAD further its’ ambition to raise both funds and awareness. The response to this rallying cry was extremely positive and we hope that this event will add further impetus to our efforts in the coming weeks and months.

If you would like to find out more about the work of IUAD or to take part in forthcoming fund-raising events, please get in touch. You can contact us at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: