06 May 2014 – A recruitment professional from London is to take on a 300-mile challenge that will see him pedal from the capital to Paris in just four days this week, all to raise money for dementia research. Steve Hallam, a regional director for Page Personnel – part of specialist recruitment company PageGroup – will be joined by two colleagues for the ride in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. With just a day to go before the challenge on Wednesday 7 May, the trio have already raised over £9,000 for pioneering research – and they hope to increase that total before their journey is over.
Steve, who lives in Balham in South West London, will be joined by Allan Waller from Michael Page at PageGroup’s Weybridge headquarters and Amy O’Shea, who works for Michael Page in Manchester. The ride sets off from London in the early hours of the morning, and the three cyclists will face a hard slog of nearly 100 miles on the first day of the challenge, which will take them to Dover to catch a ferry across the channel. For the next three days the team will head south through the French countryside before rolling into Paris on Saturday 10 May, finishing up beneath the Eiffel Tower.
The challenge is part of an ongoing programme of fundraising by PageGroup employees, which began when the company selected Alzheimer’s Research UK for a two-year charity partnership last year. Staff aim to raise £200,000 to support two PageGroup Research Scholarships, bringing two bright researchers into the dementia research field on PhD programmes.
Steve explained his motivation for taking part in the ride:
“This challenge is quite personal for me: my own grandmother and my wife’s grandmother both died with dementia, so Alzheimer’s Research UK is very close to my heart. Training hasn’t been easy, but in those low moments when you wake up early on a Sunday to do laps of Richmond Park in the rain, you think about the people who have put in money to support this and it keeps you going. Dementia touches so many families and people have been very generous with their donations, and we don’t want to let those people down. I know it’s going to be challenging, but it will all be worth it to know the money we’ve raised will support crucial research.”
Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“This is an incredible challenge! We couldn’t be more grateful to Steve and his colleagues at PageGroup for their support, and we wish them well as they set off on their long journey. The money raised by staff at PageGroup is making a huge difference, helping to support two new dementia scientists as they search for answers to important research questions.
“Dementia is our greatest medical challenge, with around 68,000 people in London alone living with the condition and no treatments that can stop the diseases that cause it. Research is key to solving this challenge, and we rely on public support to fund our research, with funds raised by businesses like PageGroup playing a crucial part. We can’t thank Steve and his colleagues enough for their support.”