IT was best foot forward for the Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk in Leamington at the weekend.
Around 700 people from across Coventry and Warwickshire united against dementia at the walk in aid of vital dementia research. Walkers had the option of completing a 1.5km or 5.5km route.
The walk was started by Stratford-based actor David Bradley, star of the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
David also portrays a character with dementia in Ricky Gervais’ hit show After Life. He plays Ricky’s character’s dad Tony, who has dementia and lives in a care home.
David’s After Life experiences gave him insight into the difficulties those living with dementia face, and the impact dementia has on families, which led him to support Alzheimer’s Society.
Also among the walkers was Anne-Marie, from Warwick, who took part in her first ever Memory Walk with five-year-old son Fraser. Anne-Marie walked in support of her grandma Anne Maslen-Jones, age 87, who is currently living with vascular dementia.
Anne currently lives in Adelaide House care home, close to Victoria Park and so, supported by daughter Liz was able to come to the park and see Anne-Marie and Fraser cross the finish line, in a touching moment for all the family.
Many walkers had photos of loved ones pinned to their shirts and attendees also tied personal messages to the Memory Tree, which was in full bloom by the end of the walk.
In the hour-and-a-half it takes to complete the average Memory Walk, 30 people develop dementia in the UK, and across Warwickshire more than 7,700 people are estimated to be living with dementia today.
Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.
Visit www.alzheimers.org.uk for further details.