It is hoped that the fundraising event has raised over £30,000 to help improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
Participants at the walk embarked upon 2km or 10km routes along the seafront, taking in key Portsmouth landmarks including the Historic Dockyards and Gunwarf Quays. Jo Kent, who works as a presenter on BBC South Today, set walkers off on their way. Jo said: ‘Seeing hundreds of people step out today for this fantastic cause was very inspiring. My grandmother has dementia, so I know first hand the effect it can have on families. As it touches so many of us, it’s important that we do what we can to help improve the lives of people with the condition. Memory Walk provides this opportunity and I was happy to lend my support.’
Memory Walk is Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event which sees walks taking place around the UK throughout September. For the third year running Memory Walk is being held in partnership with Bupa Care Services.
Chris Brodie, 60, from Portsmouth took part in the walk as her mother, Pat Ellis, 84, has dementia. Chris was joined by her daughter, Kelly Green, 31, Kelly’s cousin, Emma Frampton-Orley, 26, and friend, Wendy Coombes, 28. Chris said:
‘Mum was diagnosed with dementia 16 months ago. We knew something was wrong when she started getting confused by simple things like which food to buy from the supermarket. Because she received an early diagnosis, she has been able to get the treatment and support she needs. My dad cares for her really well and does all the cooking and shopping now. We decided to take part in Memory Walk to raise awareness but we have also had a fun day out.’
Natalie Bettinson, Community Fundraiser from Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Today has been such a great success and I want to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of people who took part. I would also like to thank Alzheimer’s Society staff, volunteers and Bupa Care Services, who helped to organise the event, as well as Jo Kent for coming along and lending her support.
‘It was wonderful to see so many people come together and fight dementia whilst having a really great day out. With 2,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in Portsmouth, Memory Walk provides a vital way of raising funds to improve their lives today and find a cure for tomorrow.’