Eight-year-old school girl raises £1K for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Determined school girl Alice Harwood organised a family walk to show children can help defeat dementia too.

Posted on 19th July 2012

Determined school girl Alice Harwood organised a family walk to show children can help defeat dementia too.

Eight-year-old Alice Harwood, from Darlington, organised a four mile local walk with her family last month and raised over £1,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The walk was a tribute to Alice’s great grandma Mavis who died with dementia last year.

Alice was heartbroken when her great grandma died and wanted to do something to help other people living with dementia. She is a pupil at Abbey Junior School in Darlington and also attends the local Stagecoach Theatre Arts School. She loves singing and dancing and dreams of being a Hollywood actress when she grows up.

Alice talked about the walk and her great grandma, who she fondly called her big grandma:

“Wow, the walk is finished and everyone’s given so much money – thank you! I never dreamed we’d raise £1,000.

“I really enjoyed the walk because I was with my mum and dad and older brother Matthew [10]. My little brother Owen [3] was too young to go all the way so he waved us off. My legs really hurt but it was all worth it. Afterwards I relaxed and thought about my big grandma. I was very sad when she died with dementia. I used to love visiting her and having a chat even though she couldn’t always talk back and didn’t always understand what I said.

“Lots of people have dementia and it makes me feel better knowing I’m doing something to help. I looked up charities on my computer and liked Alzheimer’s Research UK the best because they’re trying to find a cure. Although I’m only eight, I want to show that children can make a difference too. I know my big grandma would be really pleased.”

Proud mum Karen, a clinical matron at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, said:

“Organising the walk and fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK was entirely Alice’s idea. She arranged everything herself with a target of raising £350 – she never expected to raise £1,000! Friends, family and the local community have been so generous. Alice’s after school club held a cake sale and the Sentinel branch of the Darlington Building Society also gave a donation. Alice is one of their youngest customers and her granddad used to work for them.

“Alice is such a friendly and caring little girl. She had a lovely bond with her great grandma Mavis. She would sit and talk to her patiently and it seemed to work wonders. Mavis was a nurse when she was younger and an intelligent lady who knew something about everything. Dementia crept on just after Alice was born and in the last few years she became very confused. My granddad loved and cared for her at home and inevitably it put a huge strain on him and the family. In the end she had a further stroke and was admitted into hospital where she sadly died.

“All the family are very proud of Alice and we’re sure she’ll give hope to the hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia today.”

Jodie Vaughan, Senior Fundraising Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:

“We’re so impressed by Alice’s determination to help defeat dementia and can’t thank her enough for her brilliant fundraising efforts. Raising £1,000 is incredible and it will pay for 50 hours of pioneering research or vital equipment for our scientists. This will bring us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia.

“There are 820,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 6,000 people in County Durham alone. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags significantly behind other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Alice to fund our crucial research.”

To add to Alice’s fundraising efforts for world-class dementia research, call the fundraising team at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899 or donate online at www.justgiving.com/Alice-Harwood

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