AXA Staff To Brave Gruelling Obstacle Challenge For Alzheimer’s Research UK

From left to right- Chris Ryder, Denise Ryder, Louisa Rowley, Craig Platt, Richard Farrer and Andy Parker are gearing up to take part in the Born Survivor challenge this weekendEmployees from the Lytham St Annes and Bolton offices of leading insurance firm AXA will face icy water, mud-filled trenches and other gruelling challenges this week to raise money for pioneering dementia research.

Staff from AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary have signed up to the 10km Born Survivor event in Manchester on Saturday 26 September, after the business selected Alzheimer’s Research UK as its Charity of the Year.

From left to right: Chris Ryder, Denise Ryder, Louisa Rowley, Craig Platt, Richard Farrer and Andy Parker are gearing up to take part in the Born Survivor challenge this weekend.

AXA’s commercial and personal insurance arm chose Alzheimer’s Research UK as its charity partner in April this year. Running for three years, the partnership aims to raise £250,000 for vital dementia research. In just five months, staff from the firm’s head office and network of regional offices have already raised nearly £70,000 towards their target with a range of fundraising events including the Three Peaks Challenge and a skydive. The latest challenge will see a dozen staff members tackle 30 military-style obstacles that will test their stamina to the full, including a muddy crawl under barbed wire, an icy river crossing and a climb over a 10ft wall.

Andy Parker, Senior Solutions Consultant for AXA, will be taking part in the challenge alongside his colleagues. He explained:

“The real driver for us to do this event was to have a bit of fun. When the email went round asking people to sign up I had to volunteer – I’m one of those people who can’t say no to an event like this when the opportunity comes up. It sounded like a great idea at the time but I’m a little worried about it now! I’m hoping I’ll be able to look back with a sense of satisfaction at the end, though.

“The main idea of the challenge is to tire people out and I know we’ll end up very wet and muddy by the end, but it’s not a race – it’s very much something for us to do as a team exercise. A few of the team have been training together by running on the beach, and it’s good to know that we can help each other through the obstacles on the day.

“Through our partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK we’ve learnt a lot about dementia, and I know research has shown that exercise can help reduce the risk of dementia, which was part of the attraction of this challenge. This event is a fantastic way for us to try to raise people’s awareness about dementia and the work that Alzheimer’s Research UK does, and if we can raise as much money as possible for research that will all be worthwhile.”

Vicky Naylor, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This is an incredible challenge and we couldn’t be more grateful to the team from AXA for going to such lengths to support our work. Our partnership with AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary will allow us to provide crucial resources and equipment for our scientists, helping to drive the next breakthrough.

“Over 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK including over 89,000 in the North West alone, and we urgently need better treatments and preventions for the condition. Research has the power to transform lives, but we rely on the public to help us fund our vital research projects. It’s thanks to the support of businesses like AXA that we’re able to continue our work.”

To sponsor the team, visit To learn more about how to support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work, call 0300 111 5555 or visit