Tech firm’s team find sweet spot in Chariots of Fire fundraising

Taking part in Chariots of Fire will not be a piece of cake for one tech company’s team – but fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK has been, with more than 230 sweet treats baked and sold to raise vital funds for dementia research.

The team from MediaTek are tackling Cambridge’s famous relay race on Sunday 17 September to raise funds for dementia research and their main fundraising event was a large bake sale for all the businesses at Cambourne Business Park.

The firm had 20 bakers who produced a huge volume of products. They sold more than 100 slices of cake, 50 cupcakes, 35 brownies, 25 cookies, 25 gingerbread men and dozens of other items including doughnuts, sausage rolls and pakoras.

The sale raised £262, which along with donations and sponsorship means they will have more than doubled their £500 target.

MediaTek, a Taiwanese company that develops systems-on-chip for smartphones, home entertainment, connectivity, automated driving and Internet of Things, has entered a team in the race for the last three years, raising money for the official charity, which changes each year. This year the cause is particularly poignant for team leader Paul Sinfield.

The software engineer said: “I know the effect dementia can have on a family because my nan passed away about four years ago with Alzheimer’s.

“At the time when she had to go into care I was bringing up a young family. As you can imagine it was tricky to go and see her with young children.

“I remember times when I went to see her, I’d speak to her saying ‘how you doing nan?’ and have a full conversation and then turn my back and she’d say to someone ‘who was that?’. It was heart breaking.

“Alzheimer’s Research UK is a very worthy cause and it’s a pleasure to be raising money for them.”

The MediaTek team, which includes Francesc Boixadera, Brian Sweetman, Chuyi Qian, Rob Moffat and Ramesh Jayaraman, are a mixture of experienced and new runners.

Paul said: “Last year we did pretty well and came in the top 100. This year we have runners at all different levels. There are some people who’ve put their running shoes on for the first time and some who are out running regularly. But that’s the beauty of the event, you don’t need to be Sir Mo or Usain Bolt to enjoy the day and raise lots of money for a great cause.”

“Chariots of Fire is a cracking event and we are really looking forward to this year’s race.”

Meanwhile, a team of firefighters is hoping to be on hot form in the race.

Firefighters Ben Usher, Adam Robinson, Colin Garrett, Becky White, Jim Mclean and Gary Lines are all members of Black Watch based at Cambridge Airport, run by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.

Ben said: “As firefighters we are all reasonably fit. There’s a gym on site and, time permitting, we have an hour training session per day. We’ve all been doing a lot of work on the treadmill in preparation.

“The age range of the team is quite varied, going from one chap who is 57 to me being the youngest at 29.

“We’re looking forward to competing against the other Marshall teams and hopefully we will come out on top.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK is delighted to see so many varied teams running for life-changing dementia research this year.

Kenneth Foreman, Senior Sporting Events & Partnerships Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We can’t thank all the teams supporting us enough for raising vital funds for dementia research and supporting the work we do to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.”

The funds raised from this year’s Chariots of Fire will support a pioneering research project at the University of Cambridge, helping researchers to understand why people with Down’s syndrome are at such high risk of Alzheimer’s and driving progress towards effective treatments for everyone affected by the disease.

Chariots of Fire is organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust, the charity established and supported by Solicitors Hewitsons LLP, and backed by the Cambridge News.