A 62-year-old man who only started cycling four years ago is taking on the UK’s toughest climbs to raise money for a dementia charity in honour of his mum.
Richard Burt was inspired to get on his bike after watching Bradley Wiggins become the first Brit to win the Tour de France and is now hoping to complete 100 gruelling hill climbs, including some in the Peak District, in just 12 days.
He is hoping to raise £50, 000 for Dementia UK on behalf of his mum Peggy, who has had Alzheimer’s disease for the past six years and is living with dementia at a care home in Birmingham.
He said: “This challenge is extremely personal for me – it’s all for my mum, who is a wonderful person.
“When I visit I’m sometimes her dad, sometimes I’m her husband or sometimes I’m her son but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s enough for me to know she loves me and that’s why I’m doing this for her.”
Richard, from Solihull, is due to hit the hills on Thursday, August 18, and will be cycling climbs in the area including Winnats Pass and Curbar Edge in Derbyshire, before taking the saddle further afield from Wales and Scotland to London.
He was inspired to take on the challenge after reading the book 100 Greatest Cycling Climes by Simon Warren. One of his main supporters has been Sanctuary Care, which runs the care home looking after his mum. The company has donated funds and provided Richard and his team of volunteers with a branded kit.
The firm has also encouraged staff, relatives and residents at its portfolio of 69 care homes, including Park View Residential Care Home in Sheffield, to raise funds.
Mark McCarthy, Sanctuary Care’s managing director, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Richard with his challenge, he’s an inspiration to many and the funds he raises will help provide vital support for a charity so close to his and many of our hearts.”
Hilda Hayo, chief admiral nurse and chief executive officer of Dementia UK, said: “We wish Richard good luck in this epic cycling challenge that he is undertaking. We so appreciate Richard’s tremendous efforts to help raise funds for more Admiral Nurses, who provide vital support to families living with dementia. The Dementia UK Admiral Nursing Direct helpline is available seven days a week to everyone across the UK; and we are working to increase the number of Admiral Nurses available to families, and the support of our fundraisers is helping us to achieve this.”
Members of the public are invited to show their support by tweeting the hashtag #CyclingwithRichard.
To donate visit www.sanctuary-care.co.uk/100-greatest-cycling-climbs