What’s it like being a media volunteer?
Married couple Chris and Terrie from Cambridgeshire have been Alzheimer’s Research UK media volunteers since 2010. Their tireless work to raise awareness of dementia and help the charity in any way possible resulted in Chris being made a charity Champion in 2013 and Terrie in 2016. We asked Terrie to tell us a little more.
How did you become media volunteers?
It all started when Chris ran the London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2010 and got involved with a bit of press surrounding the race. The team at Alzheimer’s Research UK clearly liked what he did, because they asked if he’d like to come on board as a media volunteer to share his personal experience of dementia. We learned more about the charity and I soon got involved too.
Why did you choose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK?
I work as a nurse, so I have seen the devastating effect dementia can have on a person. It’s not until a loved one of your own is affected though that you truly see the huge impact it can have on a family.
Chris’ mum Dot sadly passed away with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. Once she was diagnosed, her condition deteriorated very quickly and Chris and I dedicated a lot of time to caring for her. It had a huge effect on Chris and his brothers, as well as our son who was young at the time.
Why did you want to share your story?
We wanted to share our story to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Research UK and its work. If there is a way of preventing or treating dementia and stopping others from going through what we have, then we need to do all we can to find it.
What projects have you been involved with?
Between us, Chris and I have been part of lots of exciting projects. Most recently, we have been filmed for adverts and also taken part in some fun photoshoots to help promote the charity. Chris has also done television and radio interviews, and we’ve both continued to fundraise when we can too. In the past we have twice led the charity’s Big Walk and also helped out at charity race days at Newmarket.
What do you enjoy about being a media volunteer?
I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done for Alzheimer’s Research UK. There is currently no cure for dementia which can leave you feeling helpless when someone you love is diagnosed. Being a media volunteer for the charity has helped Chris and me feel as if we’re doing something positive. It feels like we’re really making a difference, as we’re helping Alzheimer’s Research UK fund world-class research which could beat dementia once and for all.
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, definitely! Requests from the media can sometimes come in last minute, so it’s important to be flexible, but we’re fully supported in everything we do by the team at Alzheimer’s Research UK. It’s great knowing that we’re a part of the charity’s brilliant work.
For further information about volunteering for Alzheimer’s Research UK visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/support-us/volunteer/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org