Bucks energy worker to power through London Marathon for dementia research

Buckinghamshire energy worker Peter Roycroft is tackling this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in memory of his mother to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Posted on 27th March 2014

An Amersham energy worker will tackle this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon in memory of his mother to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Peter Roycroft signed up for the 26.2-mile race across the capital just six days after “the matriarch of the family”, Jean Roycroft, died with combined vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease last year, aged 89. The 57 year old hopes to raise at least £1,800 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Peter, a channels manager for EDF Energy, will be joined at the start-line by colleagues Vivienne Hill, a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK from Kent, and Londoner Ashley Jarman. Vivienne‘s mother died in 2010 after a long struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s while Ashley will run in support of her godfather, who has dementia.

Peter, who will power-walk his way across London having seriously injured a knee during his time in the Territorial Army, said:

“I want to help raise funds for a charity that is committed to finding a cure for this terrible disease. It may be too late for my mum, but not for future generations.

“Mum was a delight to be around until the end. She got to the stage of not being very responsive, but occasionally you’d see a glint in her eye. Mum was cared for by one of my sisters and she managed to stay at home in Bicester, Oxfordshire, right up until her death last year. My father Jimmy was a Brigadier in the Army and when he retired they settled there.

“My mother was what you would now describe as a stay-at-home mum. She had five children and, being an Army wife, she had to deal with moving five kids and the contents of a house every few years. She was secretary of Bicester Tennis Club and played tennis well into her 70s. She also had a love for amateur dramatics and would act, direct, produce and even make costumes for both plays and musicals. She was very sociable and she relished the First Lady-type role of being an Army wife. She led a very full and active life. Aside from her children she had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, so she was very much the matriarch of the family.”

Peter added:

“I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that I’ll finish. I won’t be running it, I’ll be power walking as my training in the Territorial Army exacerbated an existing knee injury. I had a couple of knee operations but the doctor basically told me there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to walk later in life if I continued running. I walk as part of my commute to work every single day so I’m in good shape. I will be increasing my mileage between now and the big day and by the beginning of April I hope to have done the full mileage a couple of times. I’m really looking forward to the race and raising funds for such a worthy cause.”

Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Peter for taking on this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we wish him every success on the day. Last year our fantastic London Marathon runners raised an incredible £113,500, enough to fund almost four complete pilot projects. Every £20 Peter raises is enough to pay for an hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including almost 5,000 people in Buckinghamshire. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia pose one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Research is the only answer but funding still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on wonderful supporters like Peter to fund our world-class research.”

To help Peter raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking dementia research, donate online at www.justgiving.com/peter-roycroft2014. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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