FORMER Only Men Aloud member Aled Powys Williams has embarked on an epic challenge to celebrate the life of a man he calls his ‘hero’.

The Amman Valley singer, who found fame with the choir in 2010, has vowed to run for 100 consecutive days leading up to his grandfather’s 100th birthday.

“Tadcu has been living with dementia for around 15 years so I’m doing this to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.” said Aled.

“He remains my absolute hero – the epitome of a gentleman and family man – so I wanted to do something to celebrate his life and reaching this special milestone.

“I started my challenge on June 24 and I will keep running at least 5km every day until the day before his 100th birthday on October 2.”

World War Two veteran Leslie Davis has lived in a residential home in Capel Hendre since losing his wife Olga, who died two years ago aged 94.

As a Royal Navy coder, he took part in the infamous Arctic Convoys – a journey Winston Churchill described as ‘the worst in the world’ – to provide much-needed supplies to our Russian allies. After the war, he worked as an account manager for the National Coal Board in South Wales

Father-of-two Aled, 35, said: “My parents separated when I was young so he was like a father figure to me when I was growing up. I’d see him several times a week. We were very close.

“He has always loved singing – and still regularly bursts into song, remembering every word to one of his favourites, Calon Lan. My mum also likes to sing, so I guess it’s in the blood.”

“Tadcu is just someone I’ve always looked up to. I always felt that if I grew up to be half the man he is I’d be happy.”

Sadly, in common with many people living with dementia, Aled believes his grandfather’s condition has deteriorated since lockdown began.

Alzheimer’s Society Cymru has reported that many people calling its Dementia Connect support line have expressed similar concerns.

It warns the lack of social interaction is having a profound effect on people living with dementia, leaving many feeling anxious, isolated and struggling to understand why they can no longer see family and friends.

Aled said: “Tadcu had to spend two weeks quarantined in his room after returning from hospital, due to suffering a fall.

“I definitely think he has deteriorated since lockdown, but there has been a gradual decline in any case since mamgu died. He sadly doesn’t recognise me anymore and often believes that my mum is mamgu.

“Dementia is an awful disease which is why I’m so determined to raise as much as I can to help support those living with it.

“As for tadcu, I just try to remember all the good times I’ve shared with him. He’s not the man he was, but thankfully you still get the occasional glimmer of the old him every now and then, especially when he sees his grandchildren.”

Since parting company with Only Men Aloud, Aled has continued to have a successful singing career and has recently been performing on cruise ships worldwide as part of The 4Tunes.

He said: “I’m very lucky to be able to do something I love as a job, I’ve had some unforgettable experiences and it has taken me to some amazing parts of the world.”

He also delivers dementia-friendly recitals at residential homes and hopes to perform at his grandfather’s residential home when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Aled has set up a JustGiving page at

Lisa Courtney, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We can’t thank Aled enough for his support – he is taking on quite a challenge.

“Right now, people living with dementia need our support more than ever because of how hard the coronavirus pandemic has hit them.

“Since the lockdown began our trained staff have made more than 106,000 welfare calls to people with dementia and their carers to offer support, information and to reassure them that they are not alone. Every penny raised by our dedicated fundraisers is helping us to continue this vital work.”