Sir Malcolm Walker vows to champion rights of people with dementia in new Alzheimer’s Society ambassador role


Iceland Foods Founder and Executive Chairman Sir Malcolm Walker is aiming to make his company “recognised as the UK’s number one dementia-friendly retailer” after being appointed an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador.

It is a move that formally signals his determination to support the nation’s leading dementia charity on its mission to enable people with dementia to live the lives they want and be included in society and also to help find a cure for dementia.

The Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has already donated £14 million to dementia charities, including £10 million to support the development of the hub of the new UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London.

Iceland Foods has also embraced the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends awareness raising initiative so that people who are living with dementia are understood, respected and supported. 

The company were recently recognised as Community Retailer 2018 by the prestigious Retail Week Awards for their work in the dementia arena

Commenting on his new Alzheimer’s Society role, Sir Malcolm said:

“When I decided to get Iceland involved, I thought it would be a hard sell but in fact it wasn’t: quite the reverse. I quickly discovered that almost every colleague and customer knows someone affected by dementia now, or has been in the past.

“I am very proud to be an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society. My hope is that with our fundraising, and by joining Dementia Friends, Iceland will help to make life a little easier for those affected by dementia.

“I want Iceland to be recognised as the UK’s number one dementia-friendly retailer. In the meantime, encouraging all Iceland staff to get behind the charity day in our Head Office and in stores to raise as much money as possible to support Alzheimer’s Society and the amazing work the charity does.” 

While much progress has been made to becoming a dementia friendly UK, including 2.4 million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends and over 350 dementia friendly communities across the UK, people with dementia tell us that more urgently needs to be done. 

Sir Malcolm is among several high-profile figures who have agreed to become Alzheimer’s Society ambassadors alongside:


  •          Actor Vicky McClure
  •          Former Government Minister Hazel Blears
  •          Former Lloyds Banking Group strategist Dr Kamel Hothi
  •          Hotelier Laurence Geller CBE
  •          Insurance chief Chris Wallace
  •          Investment banker Rupert Adams


Welcoming Sir Malcolm as a new Ambassador, Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Officer, said:


“I am very grateful to Sir Malcolm for the enormous support he has already given to Alzheimer’s Society which enables us to achieve so much, from bolstering campaigns and driving forward fundraising projects to improving the support we provide for people with dementia and carers, and helping us to fund valuable research projects.


“As, as an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, I know Sir Malcolm will be using his considerable energy, compassion and business acumen, to help us to get the message out there that things must change for people with dementia.


“With one person developing dementia every three minutes in the UK, we are delighted to have Sir Malcolm on our side as a much-valued Ambassador. The £10 million donation to the Dementia Research Institute and Iceland Foods’ work with our Dementia Friends movement alone shows the impact he can make and everyone knows someone whose life has been affected but yet too many people face it alone, without adequate support.


“Together we will power the growing dementia movement for change and we are urging everyone else to follow Sir Malcolm’s lead and to get involved and pledge their support.”



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