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The Challenge

Having got into the London Marathon via the ballot in 2018, I decided I couldn't do it without supporting a charity and so I decided to run in memory of my dad who really was my motivation and support in all my sporting adventures from a youngster. He was a super sportsman, participating at a good level in many sports including rugby, athletics, tennis (played at junior Wimbledon) but in particular pole vaulting where he excelled being Lancashire Champion and reaching GB status.

It wasn't easy for our family when the first signs of dementia came on and he became less active both in body and mind. In April 2013, he had a fall and the blow to the head accelerated the dementia... He never came home, he didn't know who we were, he would have hated seeing himself (in nappies) and for me seeing him still with what should have been plenty more living to do, in a home with very much older people was incredibly difficult. After 9 difficult months he passed away in January 2014... and so my charity is Alzheimers Society.

However, as many know... I like a challenge! I decided not only would I run the marathon, I would walk home! So I will be walking back along Shakespeare's Way, a 146 mile waymarked long distance path from the Globe in London to the birthplace in Stratford upon Avon. This prompted me to think of supporting a local charity and one that has helped me with counselling when my husband passed away and cared for my dear friend Tim Madden who was taken from his family and friends too early from cancer in 2017... The Shakespeare Hospice!


Listen to the BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire interview here: 

My 172 challenge: 1 marathon 7 walks 2 charities... 172 miles!


Unfortunately, injury hit and after 4 weeks of physio, rest and praying, I had to make the hardest decision to pull out after feeling the pain in my leg again only 1 mile into my last training run... However, I can and will be deferring my place in the marathon to 2019 so the challenge will go on.  On Sunday 28th April 2019, I will set out once again to run 26 miles in the London Marathon, walk 146 miles home along the Shakespeare's Way for 2 great charities.

Donate a minimum of £10.00 and take home one of our metal charity hearts we will have placed around our trees on the Bancroft Gardens, Stratford upon Avon on the 4th May 2019. This heart can represent your memory of someone that has passed away or perhaps a thanks for the support of a carer, a friend that has helped you through a difficult time in your life or a special person that has touched you or someone's life even if only in a small way!  For those who have already donated online, your heart will be available to collect on the Saturday.  In addition to receiving your heart, a simple message will be added to our tree of memories and thanks on the 172 Challenge website. Please email or message me with the name of the person and message you are leaving it for when you have made your donation.

Many thanks for all your help and support.

Bridget and the team

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Play Up! Interview - Bridget Richards
00:00 / 00:00

The Charities


The only UK charity investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention. Committed to spending £150 million on cutting-edge research over the next decade. Every project they fund directly addresses the needs and concerns of people affected by dementia.


The charity fights for the rights of everyone affected by dementia. Campaigns keep dementia firmly at the top of the political agenda. They raise awareness, pushing for a more dementia-friendly society so people with the condition can live without fear and prejudice. Since June 2017, more than 2 million people have signed up to become Dementia Friends. They have learnt about the condition and the small things that they can do to support people with dementia in their communities.

Advice and Information

Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline offers information, advice and emotional support to people affected by dementia. Advisers provide support by phone, email, social media, post, and though an online forum, Talking Point. They also have over 200 free publications, available online and in print, with clear and straightforward, NHS England-accredited information.

Local Support Services

3,000 services across England, Wales and Northern Ireland offer information, care and support to people with dementia, their families, friends and carers. These include Dementia Cafés, Singing for the Brain® sessions, and Dementia Advisers, Dementia Support Workers and Side by Side volunteers who support people to keep doing the things they enjoy.

Day Hospice

The Day Hospice at The Shakespeare Hospice offers supportive care for patients living with a diagnosis of life limiting illness.

For Carers and Family

Nurses, therapists and counsellors provide physical, emotional and practical support for life as a carer.


A number of therapies and treatments are available to patients and their carers and family members.

Bereavement Support

The Day Hospice team at The Shakespeare Hospice offers supportive and emotional care to those facing or coping with a loss.

Click on logos to be taken to charities website

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