The manager of one of Tavistock’s most popular cafes is running the London Marathon in memory of his stepdad.

Paul Mckenzie, 49, has been overwhelmed by the support he has had from customers at Bob’s Cafe in Tavistock, where he is the manager.

A customer donations pot in the cafe has raised £1,000 of the £1,800 he has raised so far for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Paul chose the charity because his stepdad John, whom he regards as his ‘dad’, died from dementia after a nine-year fight against the symptoms.

John, who died in 2017 aged 81, was a Tavistock cabbie who worked for Bernie’s Taxis, in Tavistock, and was ex-Household Cavalry.

Paul said: “I’ve been so touched by the support of my family, colleagues at the cafe and the customers. It’s amazing that a little donations pot on the counter has been so popular and has raised so much money.

“I think people are touched by the story behind the appeal. I keep coming across customers who say they have been through the same as me. There’s more and more people who are being affected by members of their family having dementia. It was so sad watching my dad deteriorate over the years. I think I was the last person he remembered to say hello to and recognise. In the end, of course he didn’t know who any of us were. Society badly and urgently needs a cure.”

Paul, who lives infYelverton, has not had the best preparation for the marathon (on Sunday, April 21), as his mum Jan died, aged 77, last year of a catastrophic brain brain bleed, which set back his training.

He said: “It’s been such a bad winter for training and my mum died, which really set me back through the grief and it drained me of energy. But I’m so motivated for the cause that means so much to me.”

He thanked his boss Bob Vella, his partner Danni Lovering and everyone who has donated via his JustGiving page (search for Paul aka Macca). To donate, see QR code below.

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QR code for donations to Paul’s charity Alzheimer’s Research UK (Submitted)