Pembrokeshire family rally together for Alzheimer’s Research UK

21 February 2017

A family from Pembrokeshire will be taking on a rally adventure race this summer to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and are starting their fundraising now.

Stuart, Matt and Dan McDermott (L-R)

Stuart McDermott and his two sons, Dan and Matt, are taking part in the Monte Carlo or Bust ‘Champagne Charlie’ rally in June. This three-day event involves driving an old banger from Saint-Quentin, France, all the way to Monte Carlo, Monaco. They will go through the Champagne region of France, drive around Lake Geneva and even tackle the Alps by going over the Grand St Bernard Pass.

The cars have to be bought for under £500 and the trio have already secured a black W-reg Mondeo for £300. They will be decorating the car with white spots for the race to create a ‘cow car’, which they have dubbed the ‘Ford Moo-deo’.

The family are starting their fundraising with a live music night on Saturday 25 March at Saundersfoot Sailing Club. This follows a successful night they held there last year, which was also in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK. They have raised over £1,500 for the charity in previous years.

The McDermotts were inspired to support dementia research after Stuart’s father, Terry McDermott, was diagnosed with vascular dementia. He sadly passed away in 2015.

Young Dan McDermott and his grandfather Terry

When Terry was experiencing the early stages of vascular dementia, Stuart brought him to the family home in Tenby to care for him full time. Dan, a 26-year-old environmental engineer, explained what it was like when his grandfather, affectionately known as ‘Bampa’, moved in:

“Bampa had a lot of problems with his memory, communication and mobility. Dad was determined to look after him, but it was a big strain on the family, as caring for him was a 24-hour job.

“Seeing a loved one with dementia is tough – it’s really scary how quickly someone can fall to pieces. He was like a different person. It’s nearly two years now since he died and we are more committed than ever to help Alzheimer’s Research UK with its research. It’s the only way we can beat dementia.”

Dan, who lives in Saundersfoot, has taken part in Velothon Wales, a 140km cycling event in South Wales, for the past two years to fundraise for the charity. This year he wanted to do something a little different.

Zoe Baggott, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“The McDermotts have been committed supporters of Alzheimer’s Research UK for several years now and we’re so grateful to them for everything they do. Without our wonderful fundraisers, we couldn’t continue our essential work.

“When there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, it’s important we do everything we can to stop it. Alzheimer’s Research UK powers world class research, focusing on prevention, diagnosis and developing vital treatments.”

To get tickets for the charity music night at Saundersfoot Sailing Club, please contact Dan on 07815 939654 or

To find out more and support the cause, please visit

To learn more about the rally, which takes place on 16-18 June, visit