Over 6000 people united against dementia on Saturday 16th September at Birmingham’s Sutton Park Memory Walk.
BBC Midlands Today Presenter, Mary Rhodes cut the ribbon to start Birmingham’s Sutton Park Memory Walk at 11.00am accompanied by her husband Duncan Jones who is also an Alzheimer’s Society Trustee.
Judy Clayton, 53, from Hall Green Birmingham was at the Walk. She said: “My mother has mixed Alzheimer’s and Vascular dementia and has had it for about two years. She went to the doctor’s and had a Memory test. I’m walking today to one day find a cure in the future.”
There are an estimated 26,000 people over-65 living with dementia in Birmingham and the Black Country and the condition affects many more people.
Phil Harris, 59, from Wolverhampton said: “I am walking for my mother-in-law and my best mate Billy who had dementia for about four years. This is the second time some of my family have taken part in Memory Walk.”
Many Walkers had decorated their t-shirts with mementos of people they were walking to remember. Once completed, Walkers were handed medals as they crossed the finish line.
Kristel Hill, 39, from Birmingham said: “My Nan had dementia and we have come for her today. The condition has taken away her whole personality. I want to walk for people in a similar position: we need a cure!”
Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society was also present at the Memory Walk and spent time talking with the many people affected with dementia.
Janice Le Tellier, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.
“I am so glad that people from Birmingham and across the West Midlands stepped out in their thousands to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
“Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.
“As a Society we are 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.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a huge success.”
Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. They provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dementia devastates lives. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year – that’s one person every three minutes.
Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk