William Hill Foundation Launches £2m Dementia-Friendly Commitment

The William Hill Foundation has today announced its commitment to become the UK’s leading dementia-friendly betting and gaming organisation.

As part of this commitment, the William Hill Foundation will partner with dementia charities across the globe, including Alzheimer’s Society in the UK.  The Foundation aims to raise £2m in three years with the support of William Hill employees, which will be split equally between supporting local services and funding research into the disease.

The partnerships will also be geared towards promoting improved mental wellbeing for colleagues, customers and those in our communities.

Karen Myers, Global HR Director and Chair of the William Hill Foundation said: “Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that impacts so many people and their families and the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK and its partner charities internationally are carrying out vital work  to support those living with the condition.   The partnership we are announcing today reflects the William Hill Foundation’s ambition to improve mental wellbeing and for William Hill to become the UK’s leading dementia-friendly betting gaming organisation. With our colleagues’ outstanding track record of supporting local communities, we are hugely excited to see what we can all achieve for such a worthwhile cause.”

Sinead Donoghue, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society Said:

“Dementia isn’t going away – two fifths of us know someone with dementia and two million people will be living with it by 2051. But too many people experience loneliness and isolation and don’t have adequate support. People with dementia deserve to continue doing the things they enjoy and stay included and involved in their communities. By partnering with William Hill, all frontline staff will take part in an Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends session, which will provide them with information about the condition as well as equipping them with confidence to support customers affected by dementia. For the 850,000 people living with dementia this means they can retain the freedom to live the lives they choose, whilst being protected from threat of financial harm.”

There are currently around 2.9 million Dementia Friends and 400 dementia-friendly businesses and communities. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the UK’s biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.                                           

The partnership will be focusing on fundraising and volunteering to raise money, training to raise awareness amongst colleagues of the disease and awareness by using the company’s reach to increase awareness of the disease.

The William Hill Foundation replaces William Hill’s Close To HOME community commitment, which supported more than 20,000 hours of colleague volunteering over three years since 2015.

How is the William Hill Foundation focusing on mental health and wellbeing?

1. Supporting colleagues

Through shops and offices, William Hill is an integral part of communities up and down the UK, as well as internationally. Partnering with Alzheimer’s Society will provide colleagues with information and tools to support themselves, customers, friends, family and members of their communities who are living with the disease; which can have a profound effect on a person’s emotional and mental well-being.

Through the Foundation’s hardship fund, we will also continue to support colleagues who, through no fault of their own, are facing financial difficulties.

2. Employability

Providing skills and opportunities for employment has been a core priority of William Hill’s community programme over the last few years. Recognising the importance of work to people’s mental well-being, the Foundation will continue to support programmes to help people back into work, either through a role at William Hill or elsewhere.

3) Nobody Harmed

William Hill’s ambition is that nobody is harmed by gambling. As part of this, the company want to encourage and enable new ideas and innovations to tackle problem gambling and reduce gambling-related harm. Through the William Hill Foundation, seed funding will be provided to pilot new ideas and draw on the skills and expertise within the William Hill Group to support organisations working on this issue.