In the saddle for charity

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A FATHER-of-three whose mum died after a seven year battle with Alzheimer’s disease is taking on the challenge of a lifetime to raise awareness of the condition.

Darren Roberts, from Market Rasen, is preparing to cycle 1,000 miles from John O’Groats in Scotland to the furthest point in the south west of England, Land’s End – in just ten days.

The 39-year-old wants to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of his mum Jean, from Manchester, who died last year aged 69.

The charity funds research into the disease and provides support to people affected by dementia.

Darren – a communications manager for Eastern Airways at Humberside Airport – is doing the cycle ride with three friends who have formed ‘team forget me not’. He said: “Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and type of dementia resulting in a loss of brain function. It can hit anyone at any time and there is still no cure.

“We are raising awareness of this terrible illness and raising funds by setting one of the toughest challenges we’ll ever do in a lifetime.

“My mum would have been extremely proud of us forming the team and also with the enormous goal we’ve set. This is a truly worthwhile cause and any donation no matter how small is greatly appreciated.”

On Saturday – two months before he sets off on his epic journey – Darren is doing a static bike ride at Tesco in Market Rasen from 9am to 1pm.

Tesco Market Rasen’s community champion Jenny Stimpson said she was impressed to hear about Darren’s cycle ride.

She said: “This is the type of local initiative we are keen to support as part of our role in the community and wish him every success as he pushes on with the miles.”

Alzheimer’s Society director of fundraising and marketing Jo Swinhoe said: “We are delighted to hear that Darren and Team Forget Me Not are giving their time and energy to take on this John O’Groats to Lands End cycle challenge for us.

“As a charity we rely on the generosity of individuals and groups like this to help us care for people today and find a cure tomorrow.”

Darren is hoping to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. To make a donation visit justgiving.com/teamforgetmenot.=