Former jockey turned boyband star JJ Hamblett will officially open Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Defeat Dementia Walk on Sunday 12 July at Linton Village College.
The 27-year-old Union J singer, who grew up in Newmarket, is calling for people in Cambridgeshire and beyond to sign up for the charity’s annual, flagship fundraising event to help raise money for pioneering dementia research.
Now in its fifth year, the charity is hoping to make the July event its best yet and has a fundraising target of £50,000 – enough to fund a pilot project to test new approaches in dementia research.
The Defeat Dementia Walk begins at 10am from Linton Village College and includes a choice of two routes: a 10-mile walk taking in the picturesque villages of Linton, Hadstock, Hildersham and Great Abington and a pushchair-friendly, three-mile walk through Linton. Both routes end at the college where walkers will be able to take a well-earned rest and enjoy tea and cake.
JJ, who has been a supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK for the past two years, said:
“My mum Karin works as a carer and she looks after people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Because of her work I’m aware of just how devastating dementia is and I’m proud to support Alzheimer’s Research UK. Since I became involved with the charity I’ve heard from so many fans who have been touched by dementia in some way. It’s a cruel condition that affects families and friends, not just the individual living with it.
“Many people think dementia is a part of ageing but it’s far from it. It’s caused by brain diseases that are more common in later life but can also affect people in their younger years – including people in their 30s. It’s my generation that will reap the benefits of today’s research which is why it’s vital we all do our bit to make a difference.”
Jessica Hiscocks, Defeat Dementia Walk Lead Organiser at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“We are very grateful for JJ’s support over the past two years and are delighted he will be taking time out from his busy schedule to join us and officially open this year’s Defeat Dementia Walk.
“There are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, including over 7,500 people in Cambridgeshire. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We hope as many people as possible will sign up to take part and ask their friends and family to sponsor them for their efforts. The money raised will help provide crucial resources for our scientists and fund many hours of pioneering research, driving the next breakthrough. Research has the power to defeat dementia, and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Defeat Dementia Walk starts at 10am on Sunday 12 July from Linton Village College, Linton CB21 4JB. To take up the challenge visit www.defeatdementiawalk.org or call 0300 111 5 777. All participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the challenge. Registration fees to help cover the cost of the walk are £15 for adults, £7.50 for under 18s, while under-threes are free.
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.