Teenager raises charity funds in late grandad’s memory

Elisha Knowles, third from right, on the charity walk with friends and family.
Elisha Knowles, third from right, on the charity walk with friends and family.

Determined teenager Elisha Knowles organised a charity walk around Lancaster in memory of her late grandad.

Elisha, 15, raised £275 for Alzheimer’s Research UK as a tribute to her grandad David Crawford, who died with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year, aged 76.

Ripley St Thomas CE Academy pupil Elisha was only three years old when her grandad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

She had a close bond with him in her early years but as the disease took hold, he became more and more confused and gradually slipped away from her.

The chosen route for the walk was an eight mile circular route, from Lancaster to the Crook o’Lune, near Caton.

Elisha said: “We all really enjoyed the walk and the weather was lovely. I’ve been planning it for months and I’m pleased it worked out so well and that we raised more money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“I was very sad when my grandad died with Alzheimer’s in March. Before he became too poorly, we had lots of happy times together, we used to walk the dog and have lovely chats.

“In the end he couldn’t talk but when I sat beside him on the sofa he’d give me a big smile and I knew he was still my amazing grandad.

“I found out about Alzheimer’s Research UK when I saw one of their leaflets at my doctor’s surgery and sent off for some more information. I really learnt a lot from that and want to make other people aware too – I’d love to go into schools and tell other children what it’s like so they get a better understanding.

“I know grandad would be pleased I organised the charity walk. There’s nowhere near enough money for research to find new treatments for Alzheimer’s – this was a fun way to do something positive to help.”

Elisha’s mum Lisa said: “Since Elisha found out about Alzheimer’s Research UK she’s made it her mission to do everything she can to help the charity.

“She organised a cake sale at her school and the walk was entirely her idea too. I’m very proud of her – she’s a wonderful example of the difference teenagers can make to society.”

Parminder Summon, community fundraising manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, added: “Raising £275 is brilliant and it will pay for more than 13 hours of pioneering research or vital equipment for our scientists.

“We rely on public donations to fund our crucial research and it’s thanks to the commitment of people like Elisha and her family and friends that we are able to continue our work.”

To add to Elisha’s fundraising efforts, call the fundraising team at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5777 or donate online at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.