It will be a day of firsts for 30-year-old Grace Potter, when she heads to the capital city to compete in the Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Despite fears of being in new places and around large crowds, Grace, an operations manager at Wickes in Burton-on-Trent, will overcome her anxieties when she visits London for the first time to compete in the 26.2-mile race.
The Derby-resident is hoping her efforts will raise at least £5,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. While she has entered short-distance races in the past, this will be her biggest challenge yet and she has only had 12 weeks to train. On the day, Grace will be joined by her colleagues in Wickes’ Birkenhead store, Kevin Rimmer and Michael Jones, who are also fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The challenge is one of a series of fundraising events being taken on by Wickes staff, after colleagues at the home improvement retailer voted for Alzheimer’s Research UK to become their charity partner. So far, they have raised an incredible £400,000 in less than a year. And it’s a cause close to Grace’s heart, after witnessing the impact dementia has had on a friend, whose mum was diagnosed with the condition last year.
Grace, who has been at Wickes since November, said:
“The whole experience is going to be a challenge for me because I’ve never been to London before and I suffer from anxiety, so being somewhere new with the big crowds of people is a concern – let alone running 26 miles! But I’m always trying to push myself and this will definitely do that. I’m really excited as running the London Marathon has always been on my bucket list, so it will be great to tick that off – while also raising money for a great cause.
“I didn’t really know much about dementia until my mum’s friend was diagnosed with the condition last year. It was really eye-opening to see how it impacts on the whole family, it’s devastating. This is why I’m so pleased to be able to do something for Alzheimer’s Research UK and help defeat dementia.”
Kate Moss, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We couldn’t be more grateful to Grace, Kevin and Mike for their efforts in support of our research, and we’ll be wishing them the best of luck on the day of the marathon. There are currently 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia and this number is expected to grow to one million by 2025. The money the team is raising will support crucial resources and equipment for our scientists, helping to bring a life-changing treatment for dementia ever closer.”
To donate to Grace’s cause, please visit her fundraising page here.