Thousands Turned out for Birmingham Memory Walk
Alzheimer’s Society’s Birmingham Memory Walk welcomed 5000 people on Sunday 11 September to Cannon Hill Park this past Sunday. The event is an opportunity for people affected by dementia to remember loved ones and celebrate the lives of those living with dementia.
People take part in Memory Walk for different reasons and have different motivations from remembering family members to raising awareness about dementia. Walkers fundraise and the Birmingham Memory Walk is aiming to raise £280,000. Memory Walk saw a diverse turnout with babies taking part in their mother’s arms, a multitude of dogs and elderly people using walking aids.
Sunlight poured down on walkers as they filled up Cannon Hill Park. Walkers congregated in a large group among Alzheimer’s Society information stalls, food vans and a DJ booth. A Memory Tree stood in the middle of the site and walkers wrote down memories on cardboard tags that they then hung on the tree. A zumba warm-up energised walkers and set the blood flowing as the event prepared to start.
The Memory Walk was officially opened by, Janice Le Tellier, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society, who cut the starting ribbon as people massed in front of the starting arch.
Janice said: “I was blown away by the commitment of people here today, the photos of loved ones on t-shirts, all the dogs and the amazing sums people have raised. It was really amazing to stand up there on the stage and look out over the huge crowd of people gathered here to walk for a world without dementia. I could see all the different types of people here with some in wheelchairs, whole families and multiple generations. I have never started a Memory Walk before and it was a great honour.”
Dementia affects many more carers, colleagues and family members who support their friends and loved ones. Money raised at Birmingham’s Memory Walk will fund much-needed research into dementia and services for those currently living with the condition.
Allison Chinnock, 51, from Erdington was walking Memory Walk for her mother May. Allison said: “My mum had Lewey Bodies dementia over a matter of 16 years and we saw some changes in her at about 60 and she became less able to perform everyday tasks. Once, she tried cooking without a pan. My mum was a great lady and she brought up 6 kids on her own when my father died young. The group I am walking with has raised over £1900.”
A samba band played Walkers through the starting arch and they set off in a column that stretched into the distance of the park.
Walkers set off in two waves and completed either a 5km or a 2m course around the park. Upon completion, people received a medal to mark their achievement.
For further information visit https://www.memorywalk.org.uk/find-a-walk/birmingham/