Alex Ruffhead is currently raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, with a sponsored skate taking place 6th-17th September from Land’s End in Cornwall to Botany Bay in Broadstairs. The money raised will go towards a specific project designed to ease the symptoms of the disease, more details of which can be found in the press release below. Check out Alex’s website for updates, and head over to the donations page via those words or the image of his route below to put towards what is obviously a very worthwhile cause!
Site manager plans 420 mile skate across the UK for Alzheimer’s Research UK
A young site manager is hoping to raise £12,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK by travelling 420 miles from Cornwall to Kent – on a SKATEBOARD.
Alex Ruffhead will be rolling across the country from Land’s End to Broadstairs with everything he could need on his back, including a tent which he will sleep in every night.
Kicking off his adventure on 6 September, Alex aims to complete it in 12 days, which means he will be covering 35 to 40 miles a day along the coastline.
The 23-year-old is doing the challenge in honour of his 75-year-old nan Marion, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year.
Marion lives with her husband John in Greatstone, Kent, after moving from the Cotswolds to be near Alex, his mum and the rest of the family.
Explaining his motivation for the challenge Alex, who lives in Folkestone, Kent, said: “I love an adventure, the outdoors, the fresh air and the freedom. I’m also quite partial to a long skate, but I’ve never done something quite like this before.
“I’ve used Google Maps as much as possible to check out the route. I’ll be travelling mostly along the coastline but heading inland at some points. I’ll be on pavements, roads and some cycle paths too. The wheels I have are bigger than usual which should allow me to travel over rougher terrain.
“I have a bad habit for seeing something and saying ‘yep, I can do that!’ I get an idea and run with it, which is exactly what’s happened with this idea. I firmly believe that you can do anything if you believe you can and if you have the passion then nothing can stop you.
“Last year my nanna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she has declined quickly during the time I’ve been planning this trip. She is an amazing woman with the biggest heart and is always smiling. Watching her condition get worse is very sad.
“She’s aware of her condition and gets very frustrated, but also doesn’t like to admit it because she’s always been so capable. She knows who we are but is now starting to struggle with even basic tasks like cooking a jacket potato and it’s really getting to her.
“The cost of research that goes into finding drugs to slow her decline is staggering. That’s why fundraising is so important, we have to keep investing in research to find a way to stop this disease.”
Alex, who works as a site manager at a power station, got his first skateboard as a boy, but found his love in longboarding which is what he will be using during the challenge.
He is raising money for a project being undertaken at the University of Southampton, where Dr Gomez Nicola aims to find a drug that will dampen the immune response in Alzheimer’s, with the aim of reducing nerve cell death in the disease and improving symptoms.
The £12,000 Alex aims to raise will pay for a chemist to work on the project for three months.
Rebecca Futrall, Regional Fundraising Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We couldn’t believe it when Alex said he was going to skateboard for more than 400 miles. It’s a huge challenge and we wish him the best of luck.
“There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, including 21,000 in Kent. Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the way to find treatments and preventions for dementia. It wouldn’t be possible without supporters like Alex so we are very grateful to him.”
Alex’s trip is called ‘The Southern Push’ and Alex will be keeping supporters updated along his route through his websitehttp://www.thesouthernpush.co.