Schoolboy, 13, raises £2,000 for dementia research in memory of his grandfather

A YOUNG entrepreneur raised more than £2,000 for dementia research in memory of his late grandfather.

Sunday, 11th February 2018, 7:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th February 2018, 7:13 pm
Ed Ditcham, 13, presents a cheque to representatives from Alzheimer's Research UK

Ed Ditcham, just 13, was inspired to fundraise the cash for Alzheimer’s Research UK after his beloved ‘Grampy’ William died in 2014 of Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

Through his own initiative Ed’s Helping Hand, he began raising the cash by completing odd jobs in his community.

But lawn-mowing, car-washing and providing residents help with their computers soon grew into running his own quiz night and a local musical event.

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Ed Ditcham as a young boy, with his grandfather William, who he called 'Grampy'

It was all this that helped him collect a whopping £2,001.39 in 2017.

Ed, a pupil at Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville, said: ‘I set up Ed’s Helpful Hand after Grampy passed away because it was really difficult seeing him slowly wither away.

‘I found it very tough and I didn’t want any other family to have to go through what we went through.

‘I was really proud of Grampy. He used to tell me all about missions he went on in the war.

Ed Ditcham, 13, from Finchdean

‘I used to bring his medals into school to show people what he had done.

‘I started having ideas for a way to help other people like Grampy when I was 11.

‘I talked to my mum about it after I was inspired by an older girl in my dance school who had also raised money for charity.

‘Since then, it’s just been getting bigger all the time.’

Ed Ditcham as a young boy, with his grandfather William, who he called 'Grampy'

Having submitted a cheque to Alzheimer’s Research UK, Ed has vowed not to end his fundraising.

He will now spend 2018 collecting money for two local hospices in memory of his grandmother.

Rebecca Futrall, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘We are so grateful for all the hard work Ed has put into fundraising.

‘Our vision is a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. Fundraising like Ed’s is what will help us achieve this goal in the future.’

Ed Ditcham, 13, from Finchdean

Reflecting on her son’s impressive achievements, Ed’s mum, Sarah, said: ‘I was really proud when Ed came up with the idea. He really grabbed hold of it and then there was no stopping him.’