Shrewsbury woman to exercise for 12 hours in support of the Alzheimer's Society
28th February 2012
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A Shrewsbury woman whose father has dementia is to spend 12 hours working out on a cross trainer to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and a Shropshire social group for younger people with dementia.

Jo Cunningham, 39, will spend from 7am to 7pm on a cross trainer on April 14 at her local gym.

She will raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society that runs a series of support groups and other initiatives in Shropshire and for Al’s Café, a monthly social gathering for younger people and their families.

Jo’s dad, 68-year-old David Whitcombe from Bomere Heath, was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called Pick’s Disease 10 years ago.

Her parents Sue and David have benefited from services run by the Alzheimer’s Society including a Carer’s Support group, art therapy and support and advice from a dementia advisor.

They have been regulars at Al’s Café since it began. Jo, a freelance journalist and PR consultant, recorded a series of interviews with partners of younger people with dementia at the group that was broadcast on BBC Radio Shropshire last year.

Although Jo, who lives in Herongate in Shrewsbury, is a regular at the gym, the challenge looks set to test her to her limit.

She is following a tailor-made training programme for her to follow to make sure she’s in peak fitness as well as following nutritional advice.

Jo said: "I’m 40 this year and was looking for a physical challenge to push me out of my comfort zone. My dad was a marathon runner and triathlete but I hate running so this seemed like a good idea at the time!

"I’m getting great support from family and friends and everyone at my gym so I’m hoping that people will come along and join in and donate some money to the cause."

Jo added: "Having dementia or living with a person with dementia with the disease is very hard but the support from the Alzheimer’s Society and Al’s Café has made a huge difference to my family. This is a way for me to pay them back and say thank you."

Jo has started a donation page at  for donations to the Alzheimer’s Society.

To make donations for Al’s Café, please contact Jo on 07815 913887 or


About the Author

Catherine B

Member since: 12th June 2012

I am a PR and copywriting specialist and handle much of this work for the bestof Shrewsbury. I am passionate about living and working in Shrewsbury promoting the people, businesses and services which operate...

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