4th Dec, 2016

Solihull cyclist to tackle some of UK's toughest routes for Dementia UK

Solihull Editorial 24th May, 2016 Updated: 24th Oct, 2016

A SOLIHULL man is getting on his bike and taking on 100 of the UK’s toughest cycling hill climbs in a record-breaking 12 days in aid of Dementia UK.

Despite starting cycling just four years ago, Richard Burt but is hoping to raise £50,000 for the national charity by completing the mammoth feat.

The 62-year-old is undertaking challenge on behalf of his mother Peggy, who has had Alzheimer’s for the past six years and is living with dementia in Sanctuary Care’s Redhill Court Residential Care Home in Kings Norton, Birmingham.

Richard was motivated to raise funds for Dementia UK after discovering vital funding had been withdrawn from the charity’s Admiral Nurse networks, meaning his mum couldn’t receive their support.

The challenge, inspired by author Simon Warren’s book 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Richard and his team will cycle day and night to complete the gruelling fundraising in just 12 days.

Speaking ahead of the feat, Richard said: “This challenge is extremely personal for me – it’s all for my mum, who is a wonderful person.

“When I visit I’m sometimes her dad, sometimes I’m her husband or sometimes I’m her son but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s enough for me to know she loves me and that’s why I’m doing this for her.”

Richard, who started cycling in 2012 after witnessing Bradley Wiggins become the first Brit to win the Tour De France, will take on climbs as far and wide as the Scottish Highlands and the rolling hills of Devon.

And to help make his cycle-a-thon mission a reality, Richard turned to Sanctuary Care for help.

As a main sponsor, care provider has not only donated much-needed funds and will provide Richard and his team of volunteers with a branded kit but also encouraged its care homes across the country to help raise funds.

Thanking Richard for his charitable efforts, Sanctuary Care’s managing director Mark McCarthy said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Richard with his challenge, he’s an inspiration to many and the funds he raises will help provide vital support for a charity so close to his and many of our hearts.”

Echoing Mr McCarthy, Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO Dementia UK added: “We appreciate Richard’s tremendous efforts to help raise funds for more Admiral Nurses, who provide vital support to families living with dementia.

“The Dementia UK Admiral Nursing Direct helpline is available seven days a week to everyone across the UK; and we are working to increase the number of Admiral Nurses available to families, and the support of our fundraisers is helping us to achieve this.”

Visit www.sanctuary-care.co.uk/100-greatest-cycling-climbs to donate and to read the latest updates in Richard’s journey.

You can also show your support by tweeting a cycling picture with the hashtag #CyclingwithRichard.