Darlington adventurer takes on triple challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Ahead of a 200 mile bike ride Iain Hodgson, from corporate charity partner AMEC, took on the National Three Peaks Challenge and swam the English Channel to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Posted on 14th July 2014

Ahead of his wedding in August, Iain Hodgson, 25, from Darlington has set himself three gruelling challenges, with a target of completing each one within 24 hours, to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. A Nuclear Safety Engineer with AMEC, Iain took on the National Three Peaks Challenge on 5 July, swam the English Channel the following week on 12 July and will cycle 200 miles on a round trip from Darlington to Blackpool on 19 July.

Following a staff vote, AMEC’s Clean Energy Europe business, headquartered in Cheshire, recently announced a Charity of the Year partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The company’s 2,500 employees aim to raise £50,000 for research into the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The business is part of AMEC’s international engineering and project management company, which employs over 27,000 people in 40 countries.

Iain talked about his exhausting fundraising activities and motivation for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK:

“By the time I’ve completed all three challenges, over three consecutive weekends, I’ll have covered 300 miles! But I’ve always loved sports of all sorts, particularly swimming, so it’s no hardship. And it’s fantastic knowing I’m raising much-needed money for research into Alzheimer’s, something close to my heart as my great grandmother, Ada, died with the disease.

“Friends are joining me for each activity and it adds even more excitement setting ourselves the target of completing each one in 24 hours. We kicked things off in Scotland for the National Three Peaks Challenge and began climbing Ben Nevis at 2.00am in the morning. From there we drove to Scarfell Pike in the Lake District and then on to Wales to climb Snowdon, finishing at 2.00am the following day.

“The next weekend we swam across the English Channel, a distance of around 21 miles, and reached the French coast within 24 hours. We had to keep alert because it’s a busy shipping lane with ferries, tankers and all sorts of other craft on the open water. But apart from the odd plank of wood and clumps of seaweed we didn’t have any other close encounters. It was an amazing experience!”

Iain went on to say:

“Next on the list is a round trip by bike of over 200 miles from my home town of Darlington to Blackpool, on 19 July. Up until recently I hadn’t done any cycling since I was a kid but with my brand new bike I’m really getting into it now. Thankfully my fiancée, Emma, has been very understanding and supportive throughout. I think she’s rather proud that I’m going the extra mile to raise money for the experts, Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

Clive White, President of AMEC’s Clean Energy Europe business, said:

“AMEC employees are a motivated group and it’s fantastic to hear about Iain’s outstanding efforts to help us reach our goal of raising £50,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK. All the money we raise for the charity will be used towards research to unravel the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“The lack of funding for dementia research is a critical issue. We hope our support of Alzheimer’s Research UK will not only boost much-needed funds but also help raise awareness and understanding of the condition.”

Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:

“We can’t thank Iain enough for taking on these incredible challenges. Having the support of AMEC is very important to us. It’s wonderful to know that all the staff are pulling together to fundraise towards our pioneering research projects into the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“Uncovering the genes involved in the diseases that cause dementia is crucial to understanding the causes of the condition, giving us valuable clues in the search for an effective treatment to stop it in its tracks. Over the last decade our scientists have made big strides in pinpointing new genes involved but there is still a long way to go and with the help of AMEC we can make great headway.

“Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK are living with dementia today, including nearly 7,000 people in County Durham. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on public donations to fund our work and support from businesses like AMEC plays a key part in helping us progress our world-class research.”

To help Iain raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/Iain-Hodgson-Alzheimers-Research.

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or to find out more about fundraising for the charity or becoming a corporate partner, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

Posted in Fundraising news