A TEAM of dedicated employees from financial services firm Carpenter Rees are set to tackle a challenging charity bike ride in support of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Setting off from Blackpool Tower on June 7, the team will embark on a gruelling 550-mile ride to Paris’ Eiffel Tower. The 11-strong team of cyclists hope to complete the challenge in six days, stopping at towns such as Lechlade on Thames, Caen and Evereux along the way.

The Two Towers Challenge has been organised to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society – the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, as well as their families and those who care for them. Over 800,000 people in the UK currently live with some form of dementia, with more than half living with Alzheimer’s disease. This figure is set to rise to over a million in the next 10 years and currently costs the UK around £23 billion each year.

Hale-based businessman Mike Carpenter, director of Carpenter Rees, said: “Ten years ago we took on this challenge and there’s no better time than the anniversary to revisit what was a great ride. Personally, we have felt the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on family. To have a person there with you, but not recognise their own family is heartbreaking. It’s a devastating condition that impacts so many families across the country – yet research into dementia is still significantly underfunded by the government.”

He added: “As we approach the final week of training the event has really picked up speed. Despite a few minor hiccups along the way, we’re all raring to go and would like to thank everyone who has supported us by donating so far.”

The team consists of director Mike Carpenter, as well as other staff member Graham Tracey, and friends and family including Ian Short, Guy Short, Vicki Lamb, Guy Carpenter, Graham Tracey, Brian Coombs, Andy Jeffries and Sarah Mawbey – supported by Annette Hulse and Trevor Burchik.

A number of North West based businesses, including Pedal Precision, Fulcrum Sports Therapy and Pro-Balance Training Gym, have also pledged their support for Carpenter Rees by making sure the team are fully equipped and prepared for the challenge.

Helen Cannell, the Alzheimer’s Society’s Community Fundraiser for Greater Manchester and Lancashire, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Carpenter Rees team has chosen to support our society by taking on this tough challenge. We wish the whole team the best of luck and will be following their progress closely throughout their journey.”

Dementia is one of the biggest health concerns for people over 55, ahead of cardiovascular disease and stroke. One in three people over 65 go on the develop dementia.

To support the Carpenter Rees Two Towers Challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/twotowerschallenge or send a cheque with your donation to the Alzheimer’s Society. For more information email mike.carpenter@carpenter-rees.co.uk.