The Farmers’ Union of Wales has raised close to £40,000 for its charities Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and the Farming Community Network, following two years of successful fundraising.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease or any other type of dementia, research is desperately underfunded and there are not enough researchers and clinicians joining the fight against dementia.

Alzheimer's Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow. This includes £50 million to develop the UK’s first dedicated Dementia Research Institute.

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.

FCN is a network of over 400 volunteers, with around 40 based in Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farmers and farming families regularly face.

FCN runs a confidential national helpline and e-helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am-11pm. Volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, whether the issue is personal or business-related.

Presenting the money to the charities, with Alzheimer's Society Cymru receiving £29,628.31 and the Farming Community Network £9,876.10, FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “I am proud to present these two fantastic charities with the funds our members and staff have raised over the last two years.

“We have held many events, including breakfast functions, walked close to 800 miles, held bingo events and whist drives to raise money and all of this would not have happened without the dedication and determination of everyone involved.

“Dementia is a growing health problem – one in six people over the age of 80 have dementia, and there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. Delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year.

“With an anticipated increase in the number of cases of 156 per cent between now and 2051, it equates to two million people, and the burden will fall on rural areas where there are significantly higher proportions of elderly people. So this not something that we can ignore and more research is desperately needed.

“We also wanted to continue our pledge to support farmers who need support in difficult times and raise awareness of mental health problems in rural communities.

“In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure. That’s why the work of charities like the Farming Community Network is so important and we’re happy that we can help in supporting their efforts.”