Grandmother-of-two takes on Arctic Circle husky trail for Alzheimer’s Research UK


By Philip Tubby | Monday 06 March 2017

A grandmother-of-two from Clevedon is taking on an epic husky trail across the Arctic Circle for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Waveney Payne, 68, is raising money in memory of her mum, who developed Alzheimer’s disease when she was just 65 and sadly passed away in 1995.

Waveney’s unique adventure will see her set off for the north of Norway on Saturday 1 April and travel around 280km over six days to Sweden standing on a sledge.

Waveney Payne

Along with 14 others on the challenge, Waveney will endure living without hot water or electricity, and will have to pitch up her tent every night while looking after her own team of huskies.

She will be joined by her daughter Harriet, who felt inspired to take on the challenge too after her mum signed up.

They will face freezing temperatures which could plummet to as low as -20°C during the night.

Waveney, who is a retired learning advisor and now volunteers at a school, has already raised £1,500 to be split between Alzheimer’s Research UK and the charity Barnardo’s Young Carers.

She is self-funding her challenge so all donations go straight to the charities.

Waveney said:

“When my mum got Alzheimer’s disease we all felt so helpless. It was tragic to see her decline so rapidly. My dad had to care for her during this time, so this challenge is also for him.

“I also wanted to challenge myself and as I hate the cold and camping, this will take me completely out of my comfort zone.

“It’s not going to be an easy challenge, I’ve got to get extremely fit to be able to complete it. It’s mostly about core strength because I’ll be standing on a sledge all day while controlling around six dogs. My local gym has set me up with a programme to help with the training, and I do Pilates every week.

“I’m surprised at how much I’ve raised already, people are very generous. Alzheimer’s not only affects the person with the disease but also family, friends and the wider community. I hope that one day through research, no one has to endure it.”

James Warren, Regional Fundraising Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are in awe of Waveney and the lengths to which she will go to raise money for vital dementia research.

“There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, including more than 3,500 in North Somerset. Alzheimer’s Research UK is funding the best research to find treatments and preventions for dementia.

“We will be supporting Waveney as she takes on this gruelling challenge, and we wish her the best of luck.”

To donate to Waveney’s fundraising page, go to


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Philip Tubby