TWO friends from Chester are planning to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society charity.
Alan Kift and Dan Rowett, who work together at Abbey Gate College, are aiming to cover more than 300 miles in just four days and hope to raise £5,000.
Head gardener Alan and teacher Dan will get on their bikes in June in memory of Alan’s late mother who suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
“Throughout the duration of my mother’s illness my family was provided with unbelievable support from the Alzheimer’s Society which helped my entire family through what was a tough and challenging seven years,” said Alan.
“Now that my mother has sadly passed I really want to raise funds that will help those families that have a family member suffering with Alzheimer’s and are facing the problems that my family were faced with.
“The desire to raise money has been with me for a number of years now and after starting cycling again in May last year, after many years not even touching a bike, I have set myself and Dan the gruelling challenge of a four-day, 300 plus mile trip to Paris with only each other and, undoubtedly, a host of saddle sores for company.”
Currently there are about 750,000 people with dementia in the UK and that number is forecast to rise to one million over the next eight years. Alzheimer's Society supports people affected by the disease and has a research programme to improve treatment and diagnosis.
Dan, who plays rugby league for Chester Gladiators, has also had family members affected by Alzheimer’s.
He said: “I have raised money in the past for different charities through a variety of methods including a sponsored head shave, growing a ginger handlebar moustache and a half marathon to name but a few.
“Knowing the effect that any illness can have on families and having seen a relative suffer from Alzheimer’s, I jumped at the chance to join forces with my colleague Alan to raise money in memory of his mother.”
Donations can be made online through www.charitygiving.co.uk/ alankift.