Tonbridge man set to take on 4,000-mile cycle across Europe for charity
By Alice Tuohy | Wednesday 02 May 2018
Cycling 4,000 miles over 10 weeks is not an easy feat, but that hasn’t deterred Tonbridge man Steve Groombridge from taking on the challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Steve set off on Sunday 29 April to travel to Norway, where he began his cycle at North Cape, the most northerly point of the continent. He will then cycle down to Stockholm and will get a ferry across to Tallinn in Estonia. He hasn’t planned out his route too carefully – after that, he will either go through Prague or Berlin, depending on which seems more appealing at the time.
He will be cycling through extremes of weather on his trip – temperatures in North Cape are low and he spent the first part of his journey cycling through snow.
The 26-year-old is taking on the cycle to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK along with two other charities. He decided to raise funds for the dementia research charity because his grandfather died from Alzheimer’s.
He initially wanted to raise £1,000 for the three charities but has already hit that target and has raised the goal to £1,500. He is hoping to smash his new target to raise as much money as possible for his chosen charities.
Steve has always been a keen adventurer, however because of his work commitments, he has never had the chance to go travelling for a long period of time before.
Now, he has decided to take a five-month sabbatical from work to finally do the travelling he has always dreamed of.
He says it was an obvious choice to raise funds for charity in the process.
“I’ve always been quite adventurous and have read a lot about people who have taken on similar challenges. I really wanted to do my own big cycling challenge, so decided I would cycle from Norway to Spain – a 4,000-mile trip.
“I wanted to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Research UK because my grandfather had Alzheimer’s. He died around ten years ago, but watching his decline was really tough for the whole family, especially my grandmother, who cared for him through the illness.
“He was always such a friendly guy, but when his Alzheimer’s started to progress, he became quite forgetful, and would say things that were out of character.
“Towards the end he lost his ability to walk, and that was really hard on him, but also on my grandmother, who was always there for him.
“I wanted to raise funds for dementia research because seeing my grandfather’s decline was really hard. We need to fund research so that we can stop this from happening to other people.
“I’m really excited for the trip, and the support I’ve gotten from all the people who have donated so far is amazing. I’ve already raised over £1,000, and I hope that number keeps going up while I’m away.”
Steve will return home in July, and those who want to donate can visit his Virgin Money page here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=919273
Georgi Welch, Regional Fundraising Officer for the South-East said:
“We would like to thank Steve for picking Alzheimer’s Research UK as one of his charities for this challenge.
“There are now over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and we expect that to reach 1 million by 2021, unless new treatments are found.
“Our mission is to find the first life changing treatment for dementia by 2025, and this can only be achieved through the fundraising of people like Steve.”
To find out more about the causes of dementia, you can watch Alzheimer’s Research UK’s new film, ‘Share the Orange’, featuring Bryan Cranston here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvCBSGLD1HA