Pub manager in tough challenge for Parkinson’s

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Alastair Craig was eight years old when he was first introduced to the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Both his grandmother and godmother had suffered from the disease at different stages in their lives. His grandmother was ill during his early years and his godmother also suffered the devastating effects of PD when he was in his 30s giving him an understanding of the impact of Parkinson’s on sufferers and those who are close to them.

Now aged 40, married with a young family, Alastair is the manager at the Black Jug in Horsham who have supported his efforts in completing the daunting challenge of walking/ climbing the 15 Peaks (Crib Goch, Gamedd Ugain, Snowdon, Eldir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach, Tryfan, Pen Yr Ole Wen,Carnedd Dafydd, Yr Elen, Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Crarnedd Gwenllian and Foel Frash) in May this year to raise funds on behalf of Parkinson’s. Alastair took time out from his busy working life and was away form his family to complete the event.

This is not the first time Alastair undertook the enormous challenge to raise funds for a charity. In 2015 he successfully completed the three peaks which took no more than 24 hours to complete. This also included many driving hours to reach each walk – Ben Nevis, Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon in North Wales. The chosen charities were Prostrate cancer charity and St Catherine’s Hospice.

This propelled him to undertake the bigger challenge of the 15 peaks which he had attempted on three previous occasions but was unsuccessful due to adverse conditions.In order to complete the welsh 3,000 challenge you are required to have been at the top of all 15 of the mountains over 3,000 feet in Wales within the space of 24 hours without using any form of transport. The length is approximately 24 miles but the walks to the start point and down from the finish point can take you over 30 miles in total. You don’t need to be a fell runner however it is extremely tough and it is a big step up from the Three Peaks Challenge.

Raw Advertiser Events Company were instrumental in supporting the event which required each individual to pay £190 which included transport, food and refreshments. The team consisted of 16 participants and the aim was to complete the challenge within 24 hours. Alastair and five others completed their challenge within this time but the remaining ten took two days although not all had intended to complete as they felt it was not as important as the experience gained and being part of such an event. Alastair pointed out that everyone felt inspired by the team spirit and doing something for charity.

Publicity material consisted of T Shirts, encouraged to donate through Just Giving, slots on Facebook and Raffle tickets with incredibly high end prizes (34 in total) donated by local businesses. £1,200 was raised by the Black Jug.

Alastair has no hard preferential requests as to how the money should be spent but he did express a view that some of the money could be spent locally as well as on research.

We at Horsham Parkinson’s take this opportunity of thanking Alastair who through his own initiative has contributed enormously to not only highlighting Parkinson’s but also taking an active part in raising much needed funds.