Bucks banking director takes on London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Posted on 21st March 2016

Buckinghamshire banking director Rick Somerset-Williams is taking on his fifth marathon to fund vital dementia research, in memory of his mum.

The director of corporate operations at Barclays will run the London Marathon on 24 April this year for Alzheimer’s Research UK after losing his mum, Cherith Williams, to dementia in 2013.

Rick has already exceeded his £2,000 target for the UK’s leading dementia research charity to enable them to fund research into treatments and improved diagnostics so other families do not go through the same heart-breaking experience his did. Barclays has also agreed to match fund Rick’s first £1,000 raised as part of their matched fundraising and volunteering programmes.

The 43-year-old from Beaconsfield has previously run marathons for charities in Manchester and Edinburgh gaining a personal best of three hours and 35 minutes. Although he might push himself to beat his time in the 26.2 mile race, Rick said this Marathon would be personal, emotive and all about the cause.

Rick said:

“This is my first time attempting the London Marathon and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity from my colleagues, family and friends in sponsoring me. After sharing my story it has been unbelievable how many others have begun to share their personal stories too about how they’ve been affected by this incredibly cruel illness.”

“I chose to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Research UK because my mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2010, just four months after finally becoming a grandma to twins. It was quite an aggressive form of dementia she had and as a family we watched her health deteriorate rapidly over a short period of time.”

“Mum’s ability to string sentences together or recognise loved ones was taken from her. My dad, Gordon, became her full-time carer overnight having to do absolutely everything for her. We made the very difficult decision to put Mum into a specialist dementia care home in August 2014 after she spent a number of weeks in hospital following a bad fall. Just two weeks later aged only 69, Mum passed away from a complication due to the condition.”

Rick added:

“There are simply no words to describe just how horrific this illness is but I hope the money I raise will give hope to future generations.”

Dementia is caused by brain diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, which result in the death of brain cells and weaken the brain’s ability to function properly. Early symptoms can include problems with memory and thinking, but as brain cell death becomes more widespread, physical functions such as walking and even swallowing can be affected.

Currently 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK and around 6,700 live in Buckinghamshire alone. Yosra Osman, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“At the moment there is no cure for dementia, a condition which one person every three minutes will develop in the UK this year. The need for research to beat this cruel condition has never been greater.”

“We are so grateful that Rick has chosen to support our research as he takes on the huge personal challenge of running the London Marathon. The money he raises will help Alzheimer’s Research UK fund world-class studies focusing on diagnosis, prevention and treatments to defeat dementia.”

To sponsor Rick, visit https://www.justgiving.com/RickSomerset-Williams/.

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.

Posted in Fundraising news