Acorn charity raises over £112,000

31 March 2014

The Harrogate and Ilkley-based fundraisers, the Acorn Committee has announced its highest ever total after its 15th year of activities.

The charity raises money for people with dementia and their carers in the Harrogate, Ripon and Wetherby area through Dementia Forward and for research into scleroderma disease at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The Acorn Committee was founded in 1999 by Louise Hanen whose father, Luc, had been diagnosed with early onset (working age) dementia in his early 50s. The Acorn charity divides its funds equally between helping people with dementia locally, and research into scleroderma, a disease which attacks mainly women in their mid-years for which there is currently no cure. The Rheumatology Department at Leeds General Infirmary is a world centre for excellence for the treatment of scleroderma and is led by Professor Paul Emery and his team.

The Acorn Committee has now raised over £970,000 from a whole range of fundraising activities from balls to bike rides, golf and tennis tournaments, bridge days and shopping fairs. Last year’s Acorn Sponsored 100k Bike Ride in May raised over £57,000 with a record 683 cyclists taking part. The Apres Ski party which took place in December in a Papakata tent at Ripley raised over £22,000.

Acorn supports a host of activities for Dementia Forward in the Harrogate, Ripon, and Wetherby area including outings and holidays, Singing for Fun, Time Out Together, Time Together Tuesdays and much-needed respite.

The money raised by Acorn has also helped to buy equipment and fund a research fellow at Leeds General Infirmary, and the Department of Rheumatology at Chapel Allerton Hospital in Leeds includes an Acorn Room where patients are advised on their treatment programme.

Louise Hanen, chairman of Acorn said: We are very excited at the prospect of reaching £1,000,000 in the next few months which we think will be achieved as a result of our annual 100k Sponsored Bike Ride which takes place on May 10th. We already have over 200 cyclists registered for the event through our website and hope to match last year’s amazing total. Everyone who has been associated with Acorn over the last fifteen years has been unbelievably generous with their support for our charity and we are indebted to them all.

For more information about Acorn and how to get involved in the 100k Bike Ride on May 10th or to learn more about the charity and the causes it supports, please go to

Main photograph: Acorn Charity’s Louise Hanen receives an award from the Duke of York in 2013

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