Why Mike Fargher from Merry Maids of Sheffield joined the Forget Me Knot Challenge and helped us raise over £4,000 for Dementia charities.
The Forget Me Knot Challenge was a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK ran, walked, or cycled the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.
The challenge was a huge success, raising over £4,000 that will support Alzheimer’s Society to continue to aid those living with dementia in the UK (currently estimated to be over 900,000 people.)
Goals and Dementia History
Mike’s Merry Maids business has had many encounters with dementia over the years.
“We have some long-term clients that did not have dementia when we started to clean for them but sadly now have it,” he says.
“We also take on new clients where they, and their families, wish to remain in their own homes and, with the support of ourselves and other outside agencies, can do so.”
“Sometimes a client wants to chat over a cup of tea, to tell you about their life, family and other interests. The Maids may have heard the same stories several times but will listen as if it was the first time they heard it.”
Mike got back into cycling during lockdown after purchasing an electric bike.
So, he knew, when faced with the Forget Me Knot Challenge, that this would be his way to meet it.
“I try to cycle 25-30 km at least twice during weekdays and have also recently purchased a road bike for use at the weekends,” he says.
He also knew the challenge would be perfect to incorporate into the cycling holiday he had been dreaming of.
The trip was a week’s cycling around seven islands off the coast near Split. From Brac to Stari, Grad, Orebic, Korcula, Mljet, Hvar, and Solta.
“The trip was fantastic,” he says.
Mike was part of a group of 15 cyclists from around the globe who completed a week of cycling under the guidance of a Croatian guide and a crew of five on a boat named the MV Leonardo.
Some (Literal) Highs
The days followed a routine to ensure mileage was met.
Mike says the seven days were filled with expansive views, “good food, weather and plenty of excellent cycling routes.”
After breakfast each day, the bikes would be unloaded off the boat at one end of an island, and the group would set off to complete between 20km and 55 km.
This included literal highs with “many challenging hill-climbs, with ascends as high as 800 meters.”
By lunchtime, the group would have completed the day’s route and would be met by their boat & crew at the other end of the island.
Then, bikes were loaded back onboard for lunch whilst the boat made its way to a port where the afternoons and evenings were spent exploring and relaxing after a hard day’s work.
This meant that in one week, the group completed around 280 km.
As part of Mike’s pledge, he also completed a further 720 km cycling over the summer (at £1 per kilometre).
Much of his donations were also made by family, friends and people he met on his cycling journeys.
A further £1,000 was raised from a Google review campaign, in which each new review added £25 to the funds.
A huge well done to Mike for all of his efforts and for making such a massive impact in fundraising to support those in need.
To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with the Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.
If you’re in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire areas, call Mike and his team today on 0114 272 2655.
If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or visit our online shop today.