Staff at the Cambridge office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) kicked off a year of fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK with a bush tucker style challenge.
Efforts started in earnest in December for the Great Shelford-based charity when several PwC directors and partners were sponsored to eat ten undesirable items each.
They included cold, cooked Brussels sprouts, preserved eggs, half a lime, a spoonful of marmite and chocolate covered ants!
PwC has 200 staff in Cambridge and they aim to raise £10,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity during 2013.
PwC is the world’s largest professional services company with offices based in major cities globally.
Millie Maslin, a senior associate at PwC’s Cambridge office, nominated Alzheimer’s Research UK for the charity partnership and said: “The bush tucker challenge was a lot of fun and our directors and partners were great sports in taking part.
“It was all for such a good cause, to boost funds for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.
“I moved to Great Shelford when I left university three years ago and I often pass by Alzheimer’s Research UK’s offices.
“I’ve wanted to help them because I know how devastating Alzheimer’s and other dementias can be.
“It’s very sad that there’s so little money for research for new treatments.
“I took part in the charity’s first Big Walk in 2011 and the enthusiasm among supporters and staff was amazing.
“After that I decided to take things a step further and nominated Alzheimer’s Research UK as PwC’s charity of the year.
“I was thrilled when it got an overwhelming vote.
“Since then, I’ve been astounded at how many of my colleagues have had their lives touched by dementia.
“Between us, we’re determined to raise as much money as we can for the research experts.”
Stuart Newman, senior partner at PwC in Cambridge, added: “We’re all looking forward to working with Alzheimer’s Research UK in the coming months, raising money and offering our help as volunteers too.
“Our fundraising certainly got off to a fun start with the bush tucker challenge.
“I’m pleased to say there are a lot more palatable ideas lined up - everything from cake sales, to quiz nights and some adventurous cycling and running activities.
“Watch this space.
“Since Millie nominated the charity it’s really opened our eyes to the lack of funding available for dementia research.
“It’s fantastic to know our target of £10,000 would pay for 500 hours of pioneering research and vital equipment for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s scientists.”
Steve Hudd, head of corporate partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are hugely grateful to the PwC staff in Cambridge for choosing Alzheimer’s Research UK as their charity of the year.
“It’s wonderful to know they are pulling together to help us defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“All the money they raise will bring us closer to finding better forms of diagnosis, preventions, new treatments and a cure.
“There are 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia today, including over 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire alone.
“Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases.
“We rely entirely on public donations to fund our work and support from businesses like PwC plays a key part in helping us progress with our world-class research.”
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK and how to support the charity’s pioneering dementia research call 01223 843899 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 28) Echo.