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Watton accountant raises £2,000 for Hana's Gift and Alzheimer's Society through 40-mile walk

PUBLISHED: 17:54 18 June 2012 | UPDATED: 17:54 18 June 2012

Ben Aldridge, who completed a 40-mile charity walk from Dereham to Cromer. Here Mr Aldridge is pictured with his wife Jemma and their daughter Lilly. Picture: Ian Burt

Ben Aldridge, who completed a 40-mile charity walk from Dereham to Cromer. Here Mr Aldridge is pictured with his wife Jemma and their daughter Lilly. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

A Norfolk chartered accountant has raised £2,000 for two charities after walking from Dereham to Cromer in 14 hours.

Ben Aldridge, 29, of Blenheim Way, Watton, started the 40-mile challenge on June 1 from the Larking Gowen office in Dereham - where he works - and finished at the company’s Cromer office.

The money will be shared equally between Hana’s Gift, a Norfolk charity which supports parents supports bereaved parents whose children have died shortly after birth or are stillborn, and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Ben’s daughter, Freya Aldridge, was stillborn on June 1, 2009 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and was buried at the nearby Colney Burial Ground on June 17.

His wife Jemma, 27, a full time mother, fell pregnant with Freya at the start of 2009 and was due to be born on September 21.

But on May 29, 2009 - while Jemma was at work at the Little Owls Day Nursery in Dereham - she started to experience stomach pains.

A day later, after having a series of tests at the NNUH, she discovered her baby had died in the womb.

Jemma was induced on June 1 at the NNUH and gave birth to Freya, who weighed just one pound, at 9.45pm.

The couple have a two-year-old daughter called Lilly.

Hana’s Gift was launched at the start of last year by Karen Murray-Tye, 33, of Aylsham, in memory of her daughter Hana who was stillborn on January 12, 2006.

Ben wanted to raise half of the money for Alzheimer’s Society because his grandad, William Landsdale, who is in his 80s, suffers from the disease.

He said: “I have seen this illness transform a bubbly, active, lively man into someone who can’t remember what he did a few minutes ago. Money to fund research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia is crucial.”

He added that the founder of Hana’s Gift provided the couple with essential support and wanted to thank her by raising funds for the charity.

Money can still be donated by visiting http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bensnorthernregiontrek

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