Matt to take on 100-mile cycle challenge in memory of his dad


By Philip Tubby | Monday 24 July 2017

‘Sunday cyclist’ Matt Potashnick will be embarking on a mammoth 100-mile ride through London and Surrey to raise vital funds for dementia research in memory of his dad. The Ewhurst-resident is hoping his efforts will raise £2,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Matt, a Chief Information Officer at AXA UK, was motivated to take on the gruelling fundraiser after seeing how Alzheimer’s disease ‘completely took hold’ of his Dad, following his diagnosis in 2009. The father-of-two has already raised £1,700 of his fundraising target, which will be used by the charity to help achieve its vision of a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.

Matt Potashnick

The 46-year-old will be taking on the challenge, held on Sunday 30 July, with seven of his colleagues from AXA Insurance. The event will see them pedalling through the streets of London and Surrey, starting from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, before finishing back in the capital city at The Mall.

This is one of many fundraisers organised by AXA Insurance for Alzheimer’s Research UK, since the company partnered with the charity in 2015. Thanks to an overwhelming amount of support from employees, the company smashed it’s £250,000 fundraising target one year early. Funds raised will be used in the fightback against dementia, with the charity funding pioneering research into dementia and the diseases that cause it.

Matt said:

“I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s disease two years ago and it was really hard. The man I’d known as my father my whole life just withered away. The disease completely took hold of him and then he just disappeared. As AXA Insurance is partnered with Alzheimer’s Research UK, I thought taking on RideLondon would be a great way to raise money for the cause, so we can hopefully get that desperately needed cure in the near future.”

Speaking about the challenge, Matt added:

“I’m more of a Sunday cyclist, but I do really enjoy it. Although I’ve done a couple of 100-mile trips before, I’m feeling slightly nervous about this one due to the large amount of people taking part, but I’m really excited too. It’s been a great way to bring people across the company together and we’ve got lots of support. I think it is an easy charity to get behind as it’s a cause that really resonates with people.”

Felicity James, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We’re so grateful to Matt and the rest of the team from AXA Insurance who are taking on the RideLondon challenge on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research UK and we want to wish them the best of luck. Without their support, we would not be able to fund the pioneering research that will bring us to the life-changing treatment we need for all those impacted by dementia. There are currently 850,000 people in the UK living with the condition and 16,252 of these are in Surrey alone. To end the heartbreak caused by dementia, we must invest in research.”


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Philip Tubby