Budleigh doctors to go Commando

A group of Budleigh Salterton cricketers is preparing to get down and dirty when they take part in next month’s Commando Challenge.

The five members of the Budleigh Doctors cricket team’s efforts over the 10k course will raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The doctors chose the charity in support of team mate Mike Ayre, from Budleigh, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at just 46.

The team will also raise funds for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Help for Heroes.

They are appealing for the town to back their efforts by sponsoring the group.

Dr Peter Aitken, a consultant psychiatrist with Devon Partnership NHS Trust in Exeter, is one of the team braving the challenge.

He said the group was currently training for the gruelling challenges on October 9, when hundreds tackle the commando course on Woodbury Common.

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Dr Aitken said: “This is a completely new experience for us and we’re training hard for all the obstacles.

“We’re fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK, as one of our team mates, Mike Ayre, from Budleigh Salterton, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the incredibly young age of 46.

“Three years on, Mike and his family have had their lives turned upside down. He’s had to give up his job as an actuary, can no longer drive and needs help with most day-to-day things.

“Cricket is one activity he’s continued to enjoy but, sadly, he couldn’t manage to play this year.

“Completing the Commando Challenge will give us such a sense of achievement and we’re going all out to raise as much money as possible.

“We’re going to get drenched through, caked in mud and thoroughly exhausted, but it will be so worth it.”

Miranda Mays, community fundraising manager for the charity, said: “We really appreciate Peter and his team taking on this demanding challenge to help us defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Every �20 they raise for us will pay for another vital hour of research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia.”

Sponsor Peter and his team mates at www.sponsor-me.org/petercommandochallenge