As a charity we depend on people to fundraise for us. Support from people like you helps us to reduce the cost of our fully supported dementia holidays making a holiday possible for somebody who might otherwise not be able to afford to take a break. Funds raised also help us provide free dementia events for family carers and do research into the benefits of outdoor activity for people living with dementia.
In October 2018, Steve Jackson, from Essex ran the Saltmarsh75 Ultra Marathon, around the Essex coast to raise money for Dementia Adventure. We caught up with Steve to ask about why he chose us to raise money for and the impact his fundraising has had on him.
“A member of my family had dementia and passed away over the summer.”
“While out walking last year I saw a few of the competitors in the latter stages of the run and was intrigued as to what they were up to. I was really impressed but I never thought it was something I could do myself.
At my family member’s wake over the summer I saw a poster for the event on the waterfront. It just felt right to do something in memory of them, on a part of the coast that they loved so much. I signed up straight away before I could change my mind!
I’ve been trying to get more active over the last couple of years but the training for this event was pretty intense. As well as watching what I ate and drank, I would exercise four times a week and then do a ‘big’ run on a Sunday. The Sunday runs would often involve me going out before 7am and getting back at lunchtime – with the hot summer this year it made it even harder!”
“I could not believe the generosity of friends, family and work colleagues for my fundraising effort. I ended up with nearly a hundred donations and nearly £3,000 for the charity. Many of the people I spoke with had some personal experience of a loved one with dementia and were really interested to hear about a charity doing something different to just normal fundraising. They said that by donating to fund supported breaks they felt closer to where their donation was going and could really see how it would make a difference.”
“I’ve learned a lot more about both the work of the charity and dementia itself. Also, I am rewarded by being able to complete the event, because it was tough!
The first day started OK and I made good progress to the checkpoint at Burnham-On-Crouch. In the afternoon though, the weather took a turn for the worse, with heavy rain and high winds. We were exposed to all the weather, as we were high up on the sea wall. When I made it to the end of the first day I was soaked through, freezing cold, and very grateful to warm up in the village hall at Steeple, with a hot drink and some toast.
The weather was far better on Sunday. I felt positive about completing the event when I was back on the start line at 8am. After about 10 miles, though, I had pain in my knee. I got it strapped up by the excellent medical staff at Maldon and finished in the dark about 7pm after walking the final quarter of the race. I didn’t want to do long term damage to my body (the event has a big drop out rate for good reason) but I kept thinking about the people benefitting from the support of Dementia Adventure and everyone’s generosity, and that got me over the finish line.”
“I hope the money creates some great holidays and experiences for people living with dementia and their loved ones.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding for both you and the charity. To help others will give you a huge sense of fulfillment.”
“The end of the first day. I’ve never been so happy to head home for a bath and watch Strictly Come Dancing!”
“I might take a year off, but you can enter the event as part of a relay team and I’m keen to do that next year!”
We are incredibly grateful to Steve for braving the tough conditions, and we made sure that we supported him through his fundraising journey, as we do with all of our fundraisers. From the moment Steve told us he was running on our behalf we stayed in regular contact with him to see how his training was going and to provide fundraising advice. We supplied Steve with our fundraising pack that includes everything you need for fundraising including gift aid forms and sponsorship forms. For the event itself, we gave Steve a DA running vest and on the second day of the event, as he reached the 50 mile point, our Head of Fundraising was there to cheer him on! After the event, we supported Steve by sharing his fantastic achievement on all of our social media platforms. This was great for both him and DA as it enabled us both to reach many more people.
If you would like to enable more people with dementia to get outside, connect with nature, themselves and their communities, then maybe you could consider fundraising for us. Fundraising can be done in so many ways; selling stuff on ebay in the comfort of your armchair, local cake sales, extreme physical challenges or even leaving a gift in your will. Whether your fundraising event is big or small, every pound raised for us makes a massive difference to the lives of people with dementia in the UK.
For more information on fundraising, including ways to fundraise and challenge events please visit our website or call Kath Vale on 01245 237458.