Roller-skater's 365-day challenge raises thousands for Alzheimer's charity
A graphic designer has raised thousands of pounds for charity after roller-skating every day of 2021.
Laura Taylor, 26, from Leeds, bought her first pair of skates in December 2020 and decided to spend every day of the next year honing the skill.
About one month in she felt ready to give up, but a family member’s news gave her a reason to continue.
“I started doing it just for fitness, and then about a month in a family member started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s,” Ms Taylor told the PA news agency.
“I was probably about to give it in at this point.
“But I didn’t and so I kind of adapted and started raising money for Alzheimer’s and for this family member, to show solidarity.”
The family later found out that the relative had been wrongly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and instead had mild cognitive impairment, but Ms Taylor decided to continue raising money for dementia charity Alzheimer’s Society.
Since then she has raised more than £2,000 by skating every day, whether in the skatepark, a car park or her family kitchen when the weather was bad.
Ms Taylor said she has made “friends for life” on her skates, while her co-workers chipped in by donating their Secret Santa money to her fundraiser.
She said: “I’m pretty confident on my skates now.
“When I first began it was a bit like, I’m going to fall over every two minutes, whereas now, if I put them on, I know that I’m probably not going to fall over.
“And I can do tricks at the skate park – so I have learned quite a lot, I’d say I’ve progressed quite fast because I’m doing it every day.
“I’ve made loads of new friends from it that I’d have probably never met, like doctors and scientists and all sorts.
“It’s crackers because you’d think those would be the people who would say stay away from dangerous sports.”
Ms Taylor said she would not recommend skating every day to anyone, adding: “I’ve never known anything to push me so hard, mentally, physically.”
She experienced her worst injury after a fall in the kitchen, colliding with her skate and suffering bruising as a result.
Sitting down became painful for a couple of weeks, but she powered through and completed her challenge on December 31 by simultaneously skating and playing Waterloo by Abba on the saxophone.
“I only played a little clip – I kept messing up because I couldn’t see the sheet music,” she said.
To find out more about Ms Taylor’s challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rollingwithlaura.