Wiltshire techie boosts funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s UK’s Running Down Dementia campaign

By Anita Jaynes on 23 October, 2019

Tech expert Paul Harding has raised almost £300 by running more than 100km which included taking part in the Swindon Half Marathon – in memory of his nan Ida Kite.

Paul, who is the techie behind award-winning app Kids Covered and community platform Zapp Active, took on the challenge during the summer and finished it after the Swindon Half Marathon last month.

He, alongside thousands of other people across the UK, had pledged to raise at least £100 by running 100km for the national Running Down Dementia campaign. So far the national campaign has seen almost 4,000 runners raising over £320,000 by running more than 756,300 km (at time of writing).

Paul said, “When I started I hadn’t ever run more than 10km in one go. On my first run I ran for 12km and I ached for days afterwards. Then I just went for it and ran around the streets of Lechlade, took part in the Parkruns in Cirencester. All of the effort culminated in the Swindon Half Marathon and I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me over the weeks. My nan was affected by dementia so this was very personal for me.”

The money from the national campaign will be used to fund research into Alzheimer’s Disease. Paul is still running now and has found it helps him clear his mind.

“When you are self employed it’s easy to say you haven’t got time for things. I found committing to this helped me lose some weight as I also stopped drinking alcohol and I just feel better for it. I’m still out running regularly and hope I can keep it up,” he said.

Paul is now calling on organisers of local community events and charities to join his new community app and platform Zapp Active – free of charge.

Paul added, “This whole running challenge demonstrated to me the importance of community and working together to achieve things. I hardly ever ran alone. I’m trying to replicate that kind of community spirit online – by bringing people together to let everyone know what’s going on in their community.”

The aim is that over time, that those who sign up free of charge to Zapp Active can share their news, links to their own businesses, projects, community events or charities. There will also be an option to take event bookings through the site – with Zapp Active taking a small fee with each booking.

Currently the platform is being built to cover an area between Cirencester and Swindon taking in towns of Fairford, Malmesbury, Lechlade, Royal Wootton Bassett, Highworth and Cricklade. Over time, the platform will reach out to other areas in the South West and beyond.

“We can live stream events and get out instant news and views – with the ability to link straight back to for example, an organisation’s own website in real time.”

Paul’s innovative apps have already won him attention – his app Kids Covered which provides a news and booking system for childminders was named the Most Innovative Tech Solution at the Swindon & Wiltshire Techies 2019. Anyone interested can contact Paul direct on paul@zappactive.com

Pictured above: Paul Harding during the Swindon Half Marathon running for Alzheimer’s UK.