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Alzheimer’s Research UK Urges Fundraisers To Take On The Defeat Dementia Walk

Alzheimer’s Research UK, based in Great Abington, is calling for people across Cambridgeshire and beyond to sign up for the charity’s Defeat Dementia Walk to boost funds for pioneering dementia research.

Previously known as Big Walk, the annual event, which takes place on Sunday 12 July in Linton, is now in its fifth year. The UK’s leading dementia research charity is planning to make this year’s event its biggest yet with a fundraising target of £50,000 – enough to fund a pilot project to test pioneering new approaches in dementia research.

The Defeat Dementia Walk begins at 10am from Linton Village College and includes a choice of two routes: a 10-mile walk taking in the picturesque villages of Linton, Hadstock, Hildersham and Great Abington and a pushchair-friendly, three-mile route through Linton. Both routes end at the college where walkers will be able to take a well-earned rest and enjoy tea and cake.

Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion Sarah King, from Linton, took part in the first ever fundraising walk for the charity in 2011. She will be pulling on her walking boots once again in honour of her husband, Andrew, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease aged just 43. Now 51, Andrew needs full time care and is unable to walk, talk or feed himself. She said:

“Just 18 months after we got married Andrew’s granddad died, then about a year later his Dad passed away too. They had been very close and Andrew took the news extremely hard. He became withdrawn and he was put on anti-depressants by his GP but things didn’t improve. Eventually Andrew was referred to a memory clinic and he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. It was a terrible shock but there was some relief in knowing what was wrong.

“Watching Andrew’s decline has been incredibly hard but by supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK I know I am doing something positive to fight the disease that has taken so much from Andrew and me. I am delighted that this year’s walk is taking place almost on my door step in Linton and I am looking forward to taking part in Defeat Dementia Walk. I hope to see you there.”

Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“We are very excited to launch our refreshed Defeat Dementia Walk and are looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the event in Linton. Defeat Dementia Walk is Alzheimer’s Research UK’s popular, flagship fundraising event and this year’s route takes in some beautiful Cambridgeshire scenery and will be a great family day out.

“There are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, including over 7,500 people in Cambridgeshire. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We rely entirely on our supporters to fund our world-class research and every £20 raised will fund another hour of vital research.”

This year’s Defeat Dementia Walk is supported by Metro Bank and walkers can drop by the Christ’s Lane branch in Cambridge this Saturday (April 18) to complete their registration form and enjoy a range of family entertainment.

Brian Woolrich, Regional Director at Metro Bank said:

“We’re proud to be supporting this year’s Alzheimer’s Research UK Defeat Dementia Walk. Alzheimer’s Research UK does a remarkable job in raising awareness and fundraising to combat the disease and we’re delighted to be able to support the charity in this way. We wish everyone taking part in the walk the best of luck and we’ll see you on the finish line!”

Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Defeat Dementia Walk starts at 10am on Sunday 12 July from Linton Village College, Linton CB21 4JB. To take up the challenge visit www.defeatdementiawalk.org or call 0300 111 5 777. All participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship for the challenge. Registration fees to help cover the cost of the walk are £15 for adults, £7.50 for under 18s, while under-threes are free. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.

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