‘Dementia does not have to mean the end’ - Suffolk man with Alzheimer’s to cycle 330 miles for charity

The Dementia Help Cycle Challenge trio, pictured l-r, , Dave Collison, Peter Berry and Christina Nea

The Dementia Help Cycle Challenge trio, pictured l-r, , Dave Collison, Peter Berry and Christina Neal. Picture: DEMENTIA HELP - Credit: Archant

A 53-year-old Suffolk man living with Alzheimer’s is to cycle 330 miles across the breadth of the country to show “dementia is not just a disease of the elderly”.

Peter Berry, who was diagnosed aged just 50,is undertaking the six day challenge from Aberystwyth to Aldeburgh to raise funds for YoungDementia UK – and to show people can continue leading fulfilling lives with Alzheimer’s.

Mr Berry, who lives in Friston near Saxmundham, has continued working in his family business, enjoys cycling and has become a co-director of Dementia Help, a free online resource for carers.

Setting off from the Welsh coast on Monday, June 25, he will be cycling with Dementia Help’s founder and managing director Christina Neal and its website editor Dave Collison.

The trio hope to raise funds for charity and awareness about dementia - as well as meet up with some of the followers Mr Berry has attracted since he started a video blog, documenting his unique insight about living with dementia. “We want to raise as much awareness as possible along with funding for YoungDementia UK,” he added. “The idea is to show people that dementia does not have to mean the end of your life - you can still live with it.”

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Mr Berry also hopes to show how Alzheimer’s affects families.

“I know I only have a limited amount of time to do things before my health changes. I hope the Dementia Help Cycle Challenge will highlight the fact that dementia is not just a disease of the elderly.”

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Dementia Help, which offers practical help, personal stories and advice, was founded in 2017 by writer Christina Neal, author of Dementia Care: A Guide, after she spent 10 years caring for her late mother Hazel, who had dementia.

“I am a great advocate of exercise to benefit a person with dementia,” she said. “I also believe it can make a huge difference to the emotional wellbeing of dementia carers. When I cared for my mum, my gym workouts kept me sane. I haven’t been on a bike since I was a teenager but Peter’s enthusiasm for this challenge is infectious and Dave and I are excited to be part of the team.”

The Dementia Help Cycle Challenge is being sponsored by Christies Care, and Sax Velo, both based in Saxmundham, alongside Munchy Seeds in Leiston.

Visit Virgin Money Giving to sponsor the team.

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