Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns has announced that he will be running the London Marathon again this year to raise money for the ‘Dementia Revolution’ and Guide Dogs. Mr Cairns launched his fundraising campaign on Barry Island with representatives from both charities as he seeks to match the £10,000 that he raised for NSPCC Cymru and Atal Y Fro at the 2018 Marathon.
Following his work to promote a ‘Dementia Friendly’ Vale of Glamorgan, Mr Cairns has chosen to donate to the ‘Dementia Revolution’, which has seen Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research join forces to raise funds through the London Marathon. He explained that he wants to support the important work that they do to assist people living with dementia, their carers and family. The Vale MP was joined by Ceri Smith from Alzheimer’s Research, Jess Bowring from Alzheimer’s Society and local volunteers including Teresa and Denis McGuire from Llantwit Major, Steven Blackman from Cowbridge and Jane Weldon from Barry.
Teresa McGuire, who runs the Dementia Café in Llantwit Major said, “Alun met with our Dementia Café at one of our coffee mornings. He spoke to each of the café members and their partners introducing himself gently to the person with dementia. He spoke to the whole group, asking how he could be of help and support. Most importantly of all, Alun listened to them. I want to thank him for choosing the Dementia Revolution as one of his charities and for supporting us and giving a platform for local volunteers like myself to share their experience with Alzheimer’s.”
Sue Phelps, Country Director for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru said, “We are delighted that Alun Cairns MP has joined the Dementia Revolution to run the London Marathon. Dementia is the biggest health threat facing society and there are currently no effective treatments to slow, prevent or cure it. Today, over 45,000 people are living with dementia in Wales. On marathon day we will have the largest ever team of runners like Alun raising funds for dementia research. We can’t thank Alun enough for making a stand with us and joining the charge toward a cure.”
Tim Parry, director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, also commented, “We are delighted Alun has joined the largest ever team of London Marathon runners raising funds for dementia research. Today, almost a million people are living with dementia in the UK and there are currently no effective treatments to slow, prevent or cure it. But dementia is not a lost cause. With the help of our amazing runners we can and will end it with research.”
The keen marathon-runner will also be raising funds for Guide Dogs who provide life-changing services to the 360,000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted and the two million people in the UK living with sight loss. Mr Cairns was joined by members of the Guide Dog team including Andrea Gordon and her guide dog Kayley, Deborah Rees and Peter Jones.
The team at Guide Dogs commented, “There are nearly two million people living with sight loss in in the UK, and by 2050 there will be nearly four million. We rely on the generosity of the public and participants taking parts in events like these to allow us to continue our life changing work.”
Mr Cairns said, “I am really pleased to be raising funds for two fantastic causes. Firstly, I have been working with constituents on raising awareness of dementia and working with the Alzheimer’s Society to making improvements in our community. This is so that those living with Dementia in the Vale are in the most comfortable, understanding and accommodating environment possible. I have led on this by running Dementia Friendly training sessions, engaging with community organisations and local businesses, which has resulted in the establishment of a steering group to continue this work.”
He added, “On my second charity, I have engaged with passionate animal welfare campaigners on a number of matters including on the important puppy farming campaign and I’ve also met with the brilliant team at Guide Dogs to learn about their work supporting people with visual impairment. I share their passion on this issue and want to promote and support them as much as I can. The Guide Dogs team took me through the ‘blind-fold walk’ in Dinas Powys last year, which really demonstrated the vital role that guide dogs carry out.”
Information on how to donate to Alun’s fundraising campaign can be found on his social media and website. All money will be split equally between the charities. The link is: www.virginmoneygiving.com/aluncairns