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A Group of Eight Cycling Enthusiasts Raise Money for the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society

Photo Caption:L-RRichard Brown, Paul Wells, James Samperi, James Barnes, Steve Pratt, Paul Collins and Ian Manly

A group of eight friends will cycle from London to Cologne, in Germany later this month to raise money for the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society, which will allow the charity to continue to deliver important dementia care.

One of the riders Paul Wells decided to undertake the 267 miles ride to raise money for the home. Paul's, Grandmother Edith Warren, who suffered from dementia and sadly passed away in January this year, was a resident at the care home.

The team are hoping to raise enough funds to enable the home to buy a new piano which will allow them to continue their programme of music therapy known to have a positive effect on those living with dementia.

Paul said: "Each year we try to select a charity that has been relevant to one of the cyclists in the past year. For this ride we selected The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society. With my Gran suffering from the later stages of dementia she could no longer be properly cared for in her own home by my Grandad, her husband of over 60 years. The decision to move her to The Royal Alfreds' Weston Acres nursing care home in Banstead was far from easy but it allowed her to live out the last 6 months of her life under the constant expertise of caring nurses. Weston Acres has a uniquely upbeat feel to it, the range of activities and events organised by staff keep everybody entertained. My Gran loved singing and the weekly sing-a-long was certainly a highlight for her.

"The charity is trying to raise money for a new piano and I would consider it very apt in the memory of my Gran if we could raise enough money for them to be able to achieve this."

The team of experienced riders have already cycled from London to Brussels in 2011 and three members of the group Paul Wells, James Barnes and Steve Pratt peddled from London to Paris in 2010. One of the group is hoping to complete the ride despite having an accident training which has resulted in his wrist being put in plaster.

Brian Boxall-Hunt, Chief Executive of the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society, said: "I was delighted when I heard that Paul and his friends wanted to raise money for the home. Edith was a resident in our new dementia annexe which opened a year ago. Since then we have developed a number of therapies to support our dementia patients.

"The positive effects of music on dementia sufferers is well documented, with various studies finding that music therapy leads to improvements in cognitive functioning, communication and mood. We have observed a definite uplift in the mood and confidence of our residents after the singing and music sessions, which suggests it is having a positive effect on their wellbeing."

The ride will commence on 11th July at 8am from Sunbury-On-Thames. The team is made up of Paul Wells, James Barnes, Steve Pratt, James Samperi, Richard Brown, Paul Collins, Ian Manly and Dave Brodie. For more information on the ride and to donate please visit

The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society is a registered charity and was established in 1865. It is incorporated under Royal Charter, with HRH the Princess Royal as its patron. It provides nursing, dementia, residential and respite care to retired seafarers and residents of non-seafaring backgrounds from across the UK. Under the Royal Charter, 'seafarers' include Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, fishermen and port workers, as well as their widows, widowers or dependants.


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