Dr Helen Robertson, from Birmingham, was the lucky winner of a two-minute trolley dash in Iceland Foodsâ€™ Northfield, Birmingham store this week after entering Alzheimerâ€™s Research UKâ€™s annual Grand Prize Draw. Helen was one of 14 people who won a prize when her ticket was selected from 67,000 entries this summer â€“ a record-breaking number of entries that raised over Â£160,000 for the UKâ€™s leading dementia research charity. Helen, a consultant paediatrician for Birmingham Community Trust, nominated her colleague, student nurse Sarah Batt, to race through the aisles for her yesterday. Helen decided to donate all the goods to Clifton House care home in Sparkbrook, Birmingham.
Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK is Icelandâ€™s Charity of the Year for a second time in 2012 â€“ the company has already raised Â£1.2million for research in 2011 and has pledged to raise a further Â£1m during 2012. As part of the trolley dash prize, staff at the Northfield store allowed Sarah two minutes to collect as much produce from the shelves as possible as an early Christmas present for the staff and residents at Clifton House, which specialises in caring for people with dementia.
â€œI chose to support Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK because Iâ€™ve seen first-hand the effects of dementia and I know how devastating it can be for families. My friendâ€™s father died earlier this year with vascular dementia, and it was so distressing to see this lovely, kind man robbed of his personality. I would dearly love to see a way of preventing the condition so that other people donâ€™t have to go through this.
â€œI entered the Prize Draw as a way of contributing to Alzheimerâ€™s Research UKâ€™s work, and I never dreamed I would win anything, let alone such an unusual prize! When I told Sarah what Iâ€™d won she mentioned that sheâ€™d always wanted to be on Supermarket Sweep, so I decided to grant her wish and nominate her to do the trolley dash for me.
â€œThe Iceland staff were all so lovely and welcoming, and they helped us scout out the store beforehand so we could decide what items to go for. We all had great fun cheering Sarah on during the challenge and there was such a wonderful atmosphere. The timing of the trolley dash was perfect too, as Sarah was able to pick up lots of festive treats for the residents of Clifton House.â€
Jackie Dowling, manager of Clifton House care home, said:
â€œWe were delighted when we heard that Helen wanted to donate her winnings to us â€“ what a lovely gesture, and a fantastic Christmas present for our residents! At Clifton House our staff are specially trained to care for people with dementia, so weâ€™re only too aware of the effects of the condition. Itâ€™s great to know that Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK is investing in research to help improve the lives of people with this devastating condition.â€
Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development at Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK, said:
â€œOur Prize Draw is always a great chance to spread give people good news, and itâ€™s wonderful to know that the staff and residents of Clifton House are reaping the benefits of Helenâ€™s good fortune. The generosity Helen has shown is typical of our supporters, without whom we couldnâ€™t fund our vital research.
â€œWeâ€™re especially grateful to all the companies who kindly donated prizes for the draw, and our thanks go in particular to Iceland Foods, who have shown us tremendous support over the last two years. With support from these companies and the public, weâ€™ve raised an incredible Â£160,000 from the draw â€“ enough to fund 8,000 hours of pioneering research. With over 9,000 people in Birmingham currently living with dementia, and the numbers affected spiralling, research to bring new treatments closer is crucial.â€
This material has been published with the kind permission of Alzheimer Research UK.
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