Tony Roberts of AXA Insurance in Ipswich to lead ‘round the world’ run for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Tony Roberts of AXA Insurance in Ipswich who is leading colleagues on a 'round the world' equivalent

Tony Roberts of AXA Insurance in Ipswich who is leading colleagues on a 'round the world' equivalent charity run for Alzheimers Research UK. - Credit: Archant

An employee at AXA Insurance in Ipswich will be leading colleagues “around the world” as he launches a 23,000-mile fundraising challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Tony Roberts, 51, who is a test analyst, is calling on the help of fellow workers to run the equivalent of a journey around the glob for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg, the designated – but hypothetical – route will take them through popular destinations including Bombay, Hong Kong and New York. However, they will not actually be leaving the UK.

Instead, the dedicated fundraisers will be clocking up 23,299 miles at weekly parkrun events, with employees from across the AXA offices being encouraged to attend local sessions throughout 2017. Tony, who is the 12th fastest 800m runner in the country for his age group, will be keeping track of the miles covered to ensure they reach their ambitious target by the end of the year.

As part of the fundraising efforts for Alzheimer’s Research UK, which powers world class studies focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatments for dementia, there are plans for AXA Insurance to take over a parkrun event in Ipswich. The team will also be collecting sponsorship through personal targets and for reaching certain landmarks along the route.

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Tony, from Woodbridge, said: “I’m really excited by the AXA Runs the World challenge and I’m hoping to get at least 200 people from across the company involved. The event is not about who can run the fastest or travel the furthest distance, it is about getting involved and doing something good for a fantastic cause.

“I’m very passionate about the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is why I jumped at the chance to organise an event to help. Reducing the risk of dementia is incredibly important and this challenge is the perfect fit, as those who take part are improving their own health, while also funding research to hopefully save future generations from this devastating condition.”

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Employees from AXA Insurance have been raising funds for the charity as part of a partnership that began in April 2015. The company set themselves a challenge of raising £250,000 in three years, but they have nearly hit that target a year early.

Vicky Naylor, corporate partnerships officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This is another fantastic example of all the incredible work AXA employees are doing to raise funds for our charity, while also teaming up with another one of our partners, parkrun, who have also gone to huge lengths to support our work.

“Not only will the money raised help Alzheimer’s Research UK to invest in potentially life-changing research, but those taking part could be reducing their own risk of developing dementia by keeping active. We rely on donations to be able to fund our work, and it’s thanks to partnerships like these that we can continue our vital research. We look forward to seeing the team progress with this great challenge.”

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