STAFF at the Exeter office of multinational design and engineering consultancy, Hyder Consulting, have signed up to a year of fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

The partnership was launched with a £6,000 donation from Hyder, while employees at the company have already raised hundreds in the first month of fundraising, with plenty more activities planned throughout the year.

Alzheimer’s Research UK was chosen as Hyder’s charity partner for 2014/15 in a staff vote, after the charity was nominated by Technical Director Katie Bromley-Challenor.

Katie put the charity forward in January, just two days after her mother died with Alzheimer’s disease – the most common cause of dementia.

Katie explained: “Mum lived with dementia for 10 years but wasn’t formally diagnosed for years – before that, Dad had tried his best to look after her at home by himself. When Dad died suddenly, it became clear that Mum needed full-time help and we had to move her into a home that could give her the care she needed.

"Mum had always had a fantastic memory and one of the keenest minds I knew, and things suddenly changed overnight.

"She enjoyed playing scrabble and doing crosswords; she was a pianist and she loved gardening and dressmaking, but with Alzheimer’s she lost all those things that were such a huge part of her.

“Just after mum died, I saw that the deadline to nominate a charity was coming up at work, and I knew I wanted to put Alzheimer’s Research UK forward. It seems everyone I speak to has someone in their family who’s been affected by dementia, and I know there’s a lot of support for the charity so I’m sure lots of people will get involved in fundraising.”

Katie is already planning a number of fundraising activities including a skydive, and with over 800 staff at the firm’s 16 UK offices, a host of events are being planned up and down the country.

Already Hyder’s fundraising total has been boosted by some dedicated staff – including Bristol-based Daniel De La Hey, who ran the 100-mile Thames Path Challenge last month, Philip Ramskill, from the Warrington office, who pounded the streets in the Leeds Half Marathon on 11 May, and six engineers from the Birmingham office who completed the Wales Three Peak Challenge in May.

Hyder’s UK Managing Director Graham Reid, said: “I’m really looking forward to the fundraising activities we have in the pipeline this year to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Many of our people have already undertaken some amazing challenges and have raised a good amount of money to date.

"As a company, Hyder is committed to doing what we can to support the research to better understand this condition that touches so many people.”

Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said: “We’re thrilled that staff at Hyder have chosen to back Alzheimer’s Research UK this year, and it’s great to see that their fundraising is already off to a flying start.

"It’s wonderful to know that so many people from the firm are pulling together to support our work. The money they raise will support vital research to bring improved diagnosis, preventions and much-needed treatments for dementia closer.

“Dementia is one of our greatest medical challenges, affecting around 1,300 people in Exeter alone, and funding for research is crucial if we are to bring about better outcomes for people with the condition.

"We rely on public donations to be able to fund our research, and it’s thanks to the support of businesses like Hyder Consulting that we’re able to continue our work.”

To find out more about corporate partnerships with Alzheimer’s Research UK, email or call 0300 111 5 555.