“Inspirational” Jean rises to seven fund-raising challenges

Date: Monday 13th November 2017
Jean Bradshaw
Jean Bradshaw

A PENRITH woman who embarked on a series of gruelling challenges to mark her 70th birthday has raised almost £10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Intrepid Jean Bradshaw set herself seven demanding tasks — one for each decade of her life — which she carried out in memory of her late mother, who had dementia.

And, having completed her final challenge, Jean (pictured) has now been nominated in the prestigious Cumbria Women of the Year awards.

Jean, whose mother Evelyn Scott died earlier this year at the age of 98, said: “I have been an Alzheimer’s Society supporter for about 35 years, long before I’d had any real personal experience of dementia.

“I was the primary carer for my Aunt Winifred for seven years before she died, 10 years ago, aged 86. Since then another aunt has died and I lost my mother in February.

“I’m thrilled to have surpassed my target fund-raising figure of £7,000. The challenges have been a lot tougher than I expected, partly because I have developed an as yet undiagnosed health problem resulting in shortness of breath, so that really slowed me down some of the time.”

During the past seven months Jean has invited 70 people to her launch event; climbed the seven highest Wainwright peaks in the Lake District; walked 70 miles on the South West coastal path; walked 70 miles of the Cumbria coastal path; led seven walks for Penrith Ramblers; and organised seven collections for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Her seventh and final challenge was to raise £7,000, but her JustGiving page total is now well over £9,000.

The Cumbria Women of the Year event takes place in Bowness-on-Windermere on 29th November. Jean believes her nomination is not only in recognition of her fund-raising, but also for her involvement with Penrith Ramblers and as a volunteer driver for people without transport as part of a scheme funded by Cumbria County Council.

She said: “It’s quite an honour to be nominated. I didn’t know anything about it until I received the invitation, but I suspect one of my friends in Penrith Ramblers will have put my name forward.

“I certainly don’t expect to win as there will be women short-listed who do much more than I do, but it is nevertheless flattering to be considered.”

Alzheimer’s Society community fund-raiser in Cumbria, Sue Swire, said: “Jean is an absolute inspiration. She has been absolutely amazing and has completely smashed her challenges and blown away her original target of £7,000. She is almost at £10,000, which I have no doubt she will achieve.

“In addition to all this Jean continues to lead a team of brilliant volunteers with street and store collections in Eden and Keswick. I refer to Jean quite often as the ‘queen of collections’ because she always gets fantastic results and, this may sound a little cheesy, but I honestly could not achieve the results I do in Cumbria without her and her team of volunteers.”

Jean’s JustGiving page is still open at goo.gl/bNDano.