A University of Bristol student who became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic has been unveiled as a new ambassador for BRACE.

Callum Gathercole, 20, who completed his incredible charity challenge earlier this year raised more than £5,000 for BRACE during the gruelling 3,000-mile journey.

Now the charity has invited him to join the likes of Jonathan Dimbleby and Sir Martyn Lewis as an official figurehead for the organisation.

Callum said: “I was honoured to be invited to become an ambassador for BRACE. The pains I endured to set my new world record rowing across the Atlantic are nothing compared to the challenges thousands of people face every day living with dementia or caring for someone with the condition. The research which BRACE helps fund is absolutely essential in the on-going battle to understand this complex and devastating condition. I look forward to doing all I can to help BRACE in its mission to build an army of supporters so they can continue to make the South West a focus for world-leading dementia research.”

Callum, from Surrey, began the Atlantic Challenge race in the Canary Islands on 20 December 2015. He arrived in Antigua's English Harbour in the Caribbean in a time of 58 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes in early February. Callum raised more than £90,000 to be split between three charities in memory of his late father who passed away from a brain tumour three years ago.

BRACE Chief Executive Mark Poarch said he was delighted to welcome Callum on board. He said, “We are thrilled to welcome Callum to the team. I’m sure his heroic achievement will inspire more people to support BRACE in the coming years. He is a real inspiration and he will be crucial in our efforts to reach out to younger people in our bid to fight dementia. Along with the brilliant young violinist Julia Hwang, who joined us as an ambassador in January, Callum is helping to show that fighting dementia is a cause for all ages.”

Photo: Ted Martin