Challenges take place worldwide to support alumnus Paul

All Paul Together logo and a small photo of Paul Smith

Alumnus Paul Smith was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in April 2021. Since then, many of his friends have been doing everything they can to support Paul as he faces his biggest ever challenge.

On behalf of Paul, All Paul Together has been set up as a fundraising community to encourage people to fundraise, take on a range of weird and wonderful challenges, to ultimately help Paul. The network spans primarily across Ireland and the UK, with friends from Australia also getting involved.

One of those friends based on the opposite side of the world to Paul is alumnus Kieren Hutchings (Business Economics and Finance 1998). Kieren has been involved in supporting a range of activities and challenges for people to get involved with in order to raise funds to support Paul, and to donate money to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) charities.

Kieren has completed a marathon and two half marathons and he is currently organising an event for September where he will climb and trek Australia’s Snowy Mountain…wearing only a pair of swimmers!

Since All Paul Together was launched, one person has cycled 2,500km and others have cycled hundreds of kilometres. Some have even completed skydives. There’s a fantasy football league, plans for a dance evening, raffles and more.

A Dribble for MND event took place, raising more than €16,000. The idea of the event was to help increase awareness around MND. Participants were asked to dribble a ball – football, basketball, a hockey ball, or even bounce a ball on a tennis racket – to do something fun.

Following the Dribble for MND event, Paul said in a blog post:

“I’m delighted to be able to donate 25% of everything taken so far to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) in order to help them to continue to deliver the superb service they provide to all MND sufferers in Ireland. I look forward to being able to provide them with further funding as the All Paul Together Fundraising efforts continue In the coming months.”

In the blog post, Paul also talked about how the funds raised would support him. He added: 

“From a personal perspective the funds that have been raised have allowed me to start in earnest with a carefully constructed plan involving a variety of therapeutic approaches. The aim of this plan is to slow down the progression of my disease and give me and my family a better quality of life for as long as possible.”

Since the launch of All Paul Together, more than €30,000 has been raised, relieving financial strain for Paul and his family for the short-term, supporting in making therapeutic plans, exploring treatments, and making adjustments at home. €7,500 of the funds raised has been donated to the IMNDA.

Paul studied PE and Sports Science with Recreation Management and graduated from Loughborough in 1998. He is based in Ireland.

Find out more about All Paul Together.