Sheffield welcomes first Alzheimer’s Research UK fundraising group


Sheffield’s first Alzheimer’s Research UK fundraising group launched this month and is welcoming new members from across the region. The group will be known as the Alzheimer’s Research UK Steel City fundraising group.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, powering world class studies focusing on prevention, diagnosis and much-needed treatments for the condition. There are around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, including around 7,000 in Sheffield alone.

The fundraising group’s committee consists of three local residents: Gary Whitham, group lead; Rachael Baker, treasurer; and Robert Greensmith, administrator. The group will meet regularly and everyone is welcome. The first fundraising event will be a sponsored walk and run in Bradfield.

Gary, 53 now lives in Hoyland but spent much of his life growing up in Hillsborough as his dad, Terry Whitham played for Sheffield Wednesday during the 1950’s & 60’s before transferring to Chesterfield. Gary decided he wanted to start supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK when his dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Terry aged 81 is currently being cared for at the Darnall Grange Care Home where he has lived for the past two years.

Gary said:

“I decided to get involved with Alzheimer’s Research UK because of dad’s condition and the realisation that so many of my friend’s parents are in a similar situation. I know that our efforts might not help those living with dementia now, but hopefully it may benefit my children’s or my grandchildren’s generation.” 

Rachael, 44 & Robert 42 are sister and brother and both live in Stannington. Their mum Jean Greensmith died in October 2016 aged 68 after being diagnosed with Benson’s Syndrome (a visual variant of Alzheimer’s disease) at the age of 60. Their auntie Helen and uncle Peter also died at an early age after living with Frontotemporal Dementia.

Rachael said:

“No one should have to suffer until the end with this awful disease. I hope that our efforts will help in the work to find a cure which will help future generations, including my children and hopefully ourselves. I also want to start taking the stigma away from the disease as it is affecting so many people locally that most people will know someone who has been touched by the disease”.

Robert said:

“Our family along with many others have seen the effects that this disease has on those who are diagnosed as well as the wider family. I want to help by being part of this new fundraising group to raise funds to find a cure, so that people don’t have to just live with the disease. It would be great for other local families and individuals to come and support our first fundraising event and get involved”.

The groups first fundraising event will be a sponsored walk and run that will be taking place in and around Bradfield on Sunday 21st May 2017. There will be three different length routes for people to choose between meaning there is something for everyone from families with pushchairs and those in wheelchairs through to the more serious runners. The routes will be 5km, 11km and 15km and will take in some of the beautiful scenery around the dams and countryside in the Bradfield area.

They are keen for as many local people as possible to come along and support their first fundraising event and would welcome volunteers as well as those wishing to walk or run on the day. All the signed routes will start and finish at the Bradfield cricket pavilion and refreshments will be available to all. Registration will open from 10.00a.m. with the walkers and runners starting at 10.30a.m.

Funds raised by the Steel City fundraising group will support dementia research projects taking place at top universities all across the UK.

Matt Clarke, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“It’s absolutely brilliant to see a brand-new Alzheimer’s Research UK fundraising group in Sheffield. We have so many fantastic supporters in the area, and I hope everyone will enjoy coming together and supporting dementia research.

“There are around 47 million people living with dementia around the world, yet there are no treatments that can stop or slow the condition. Only research can defeat dementia.”

Anyone wishing to get involved in the group or to find out more about the sponsored walk can contact Robert Greensmith on 0788 7948726 or

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit