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Thursday, April 18, 2024
CharityOldham Athletic chair Frank Rothwell awarded ‘Point of Light’ by Downing Street

Oldham Athletic chair Frank Rothwell awarded ‘Point of Light’ by Downing Street

Oldham businessman Frank Rothwell has today been recognised as a ‘Point of Light’ by Downing Street for his outstanding fundraising efforts for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Every weekday, outstanding individual volunteers are recognised for their efforts in making a change to their community. First established in the US by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, Points of Light was developed and launched in the UK in 2014.

The 73-year-old has been named as the 2,291st recipient of the award, having just completed his second solo row across the Atlantic for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

The grandfather and chair of Oldham Athletic AFC first showed support for the charity in 2020, when he took on a 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean. He raised £1.1million, including £500,000 match-funding from Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation.

Frank took on the challenge for the second time in December 2023 and crossed the finish line in February 2024 after 64 days at sea. He broke his own Guinness World Record as the ‘Oldest person to row across the Atlantic’ and became the ‘Oldest person to row any ocean solo.’  So far, he has raised over £373,000 for this attempt – bringing his combined total raised to over £1.4 million.

For a cure

Dementia research is a cause close to Frank’s heart, having lost his brother-in-law and best friend to the condition, and he was determined to raise awareness of the growing impact of dementia on society.  If nothing changes, one in two people will be directly affected by dementia, either by developing the condition, caring for someone with it, or both. With new treatments on the horizon, Alzheimer’s Research UK is striving to find a cure by revolutionising the way dementia is treated, diagnosed, and prevented. Frank named his boat ‘For A Cure’, to reflect the charity’s mission.

Frank said: “To be recognised as a Point of Light is something beyond my wildest dreams and it fills me with pride. I am truly honoured, thank you.

“Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, solo, four years ago was, at the time, the hardest challenge I had ever taken on. But, like so many people, I have been affected by dementia and seen the heartbreak it causes. So, I decided to take on the challenge for the second time, in memory of my best friend Phil and brother-in-law Roger, determined to help make a difference for others. I can’t believe we’ve raised over £1.4 million across both rows to support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s search for a cure – it’s incredible.”

Outstanding efforts

Lucy Squance, director of supporter led fundraising at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Huge congratulations to Frank on his well-deserved Point of Light award. Everyone here at Alzheimer’s Research UK is thrilled he is being recognised in this way for his outstanding fundraising efforts for dementia research. Frank and so many wonderful supporters are helping us change the ending for people affected by dementia, and we’re so grateful to have them by our side.

“Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with one in ten people dying from the condition. We simply cannot let this heartbreak continue. New, life-changing treatments are on the horizon, and we won’t stop until we’ve found a cure.

“Thank you, Frank, for standing with us for a cure and thank you to the Prime Minister for this recognition for Frank’s fantastic support.”

To donate to Frank’s fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK, visit: Frank Rothwell’s World’s Toughest Row Atlantic Challenge 2023 – JustGiving


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