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Alfie and friends complete running challenge to say thank you for dementia support given to his family

Alfie and Xanthe Sheldon along with their neighbours Grace and Harry Brookes have completed a running challenge to raise funds for Approach.

The determined neighbourhood friends took part in their own running challenge to say thank you for the support given to Alfie and Xanthe’s much-loved Granddad, Brian. Alfie wrote a very heartfelt letter to Approach to explain their motives:

It was heart-breaking to see my Granddad change from a strong, loving man into a stranger so dramatically who couldn’t remember me or the special moments we shared. You helped my Nanna and Granddad when they really needed someone to talk to, so I would like to give you something, no matter how small for what you have done”

Brian’s family were concerned about about his memory which lead to a dementia diagnosis. Following this, Brian’s son then contacted Approach to seek advice and support for the whole family. Brian now lives in a residential home where his loving family visit him often.

To show his appreciation for the support Approach gave to his family, Alfie was keen to give something back.

On Friday 7th June, Alfie, Xanthe, Grace and Harry ran 15 laps of their Sneyd Green cul-de-sac and asked their fellow neighbours and family to sponsor their effort. The group were delighted to discover they had raised £55 for Approach which Alfie hopes will support another family in their time of need:

“It was a hard challenge but we all completed it. While I was running, all that got me to the finish was the thought of someone else my age, who’s Nanna or Granddad has been diagnosed with dementia.”

 Employees at Approach were blown away when they received Alfie’s letter and were so grateful to the four young runners.

Fundraising and Volunteer Co-ordinator at Approach, Hannah Bridgwood said:

“We have all been very touched by the efforts of these four inspiring young people. We are so grateful to Alfie, Xanthe, Grace and Harry for completing their running challenge as we could not sustain our services without the generosity and compassion from those within our community. These funds will ensure we can continue to support more people affected by dementia, just as Alfie hoped.”