Hitchin fundraiser’s permanent show of support for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Dedicated supporter raises money for dementia research by getting a fun tattoo.

Posted on 29th July 2014

An imaginative fundraiser from Hitchin has a permanent reminder of her efforts to raise cash for Alzheimer’s Research UK after getting the Ghostbusters logo tattooed on to her wrist in a unique fundraising stunt.

Melissa Grantham, 27, decided to kick off a year of fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK by asking people to make a £5 donation to the charity, and in turn said she would have a design tattooed on her body decided by the winning donor in a draw. The names of everyone who made a donation were entered into the draw and Melissa picked the deciding name out of a pink bobble hat on Sunday 20 July and had the Ghostbusters logo inked on to her wrist just two days later.

Melissa, a fun-loving recruitment consultant and law student, and her partner Laura have pledged to raise £3,000 in the next 12 months for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. To achieve this they plan to take part in the Bupa Great South Run in October, followed by the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon next March. Melissa is hoping to make it a hat trick of runs if she secures a place in next year’s Virgin London Marathon. The duo is raising funds with thoughts of Melissa’s grandmother, Carol, in mind who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago, aged 67.

The couple’s next fundraising event is a family sports day in Hemel Hempstead, the town Melissa grew up in, on Sunday 10 August. The event will take place at Felden Lodge from 12-4pm and there will be an egg-and-spoon and three-legged races, a mobile bar, hog roast, bouncy castle, face painting and a raffle.

Speaking about her reasons for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK, Melissa said:

“After Granddad died, Nan’s behaviour changed and everyone thought it was grief but after many trips to the doctors she was finally diagnosed with dementia. I was working abroad when it happened so my mum and aunty dealt with everything. Her diagnosis has opened my eyes to the fact that dementia research is so underfunded.

“My nan now lives in a care home where she receives the specialist help that she needs but it is devastating to know that there is nothing we can do to make her better. I don’t get to see Nan as much as I would like as I work full time and am studying for a degree, so this is my way of doing something to help.

“I want to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer’s Research UK by taking part in the three runs and a month ago I came up with the tattoo idea to generate some interest in what we are doing. I only asked for £5 donations but a couple of people gave £50 each and out of 26 donations the tattoo alone has raised £280!”

Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“What a unique way to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK! We are extremely grateful to Melissa and Laura for all their hard work – and creative fundraising ideas – and every £20 they raise is enough to fund another hour of dementia research, bringing much-needed preventions and new treatments closer.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 13,000 people in Hertfordshire. Despite this, funding for dementia research still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on public donations to fund our world-class research and it’s thanks to the commitment of people like Melissa and Laura that we’re able to continue our crucial work.”

The family sports day takes place at Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead, on Sunday 10 August from 12-4pm. To help Melissa and Laura raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s pioneering dementia research, donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MelissaGrantham. To take part in the family sports day go to www.facebook.com/timetogetoffmyassanddosomegoodYOLO.

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK and how to support the charity’s crucial research into Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

Posted in Fundraising news