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Cyclists battle the elements to support charity work in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 10:22 27 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:25 27 May 2015

Jonny Hawes and Rob Chenery finish their charity cycle ride. Picture: Joe Randlesome

Jonny Hawes and Rob Chenery finish their charity cycle ride. Picture: Joe Randlesome

Archant

Having to battle strong winds, hail storms and heavy rain was all part of the experience for an intrepid Suffolk charity worker, as he managed to cycle 130 miles in the space of ten hours, all to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

Jonny Hawes completed his epic cycle ride with his close friend Rob Chenery, and the pair have already raised over £400 for the Alzheimer’s Society during Dementia Awareness Week.

Starting in Lowestoft at 6am on Wednesday, the pair rode in tough conditions to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, which both had information stands for people to find out more about dementia and the support available in the area.

At each stopping point, the Alzheimer’s Society was promoting the message that life doesn’t have to end when dementia begins, as most people can enjoy experiences and moments at the present time.

Inside the Britten Centre, there was also the chance to ride a bicycle which created the power to make a smoothie. The NHS Wellbeing service was also on hand to offer key advice and information.

After finishing their ride about an hour after they had scheduled to arrive at 3pm, the duo were pleased with their efforts before claiming they would “warm up and have something to eat” to recover.

Mr Hawes is a dementia support worker based in Lowestoft but covers the North Suffolk area.

“We got to Ipswich at 9am in the sunshine to meet the mayor”, Mr Hawes said.

“It then clouded over from Ipswich to Bury St Edmunds before it started raining and we got caught in a storm.

“The theme of Dementia Awareness Week this year is ‘do something new’ and this is certainly the first time we have ever done anything like this.

“There are more than 11,700 people with dementia in Suffolk yet it is still a condition that is too often ignored or brushed under the carpet.”

Mr Chenery added: “We only had one puncture and it really was a special day. I am a marathon runner and Jonny is into his bikes and it was brilliant just the two of us.”

Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia and 225,000 will develop dementia this year; one in every three minutes.

Debbie Foster, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “Just getting people to come along and talk about dementia here in Lowestoft reduces the stigma and raises awareness.

“By doing something new like Jonny and Rob have done, we want to get people thinking about how it’s not only possible for someone with dementia to hold onto their life and the things they love for longer, but that they can also continue to try new things and have new experiences, too.”

For more information visit: www.alzheimers.org.uk or to sponsor Mr Hawes, visit: www.justgiving.co.uk/suffolk130

Are you taking part in a charity event? Email:joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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