Fight dementia with a Sunday stroll in Bristol
The people of Bristol are taking steps to improve dementia services in the city this weekend, as they embark on a Memory Walk to raise money.
Around 100 people will walk up to two miles through Clifton on Sunday, in a bid to raise funds to fight the disease.
Participants can choose to set off on either a one mile or two mile walk, strolling across the Clifton Suspension Bridge and taking in the views of Avon Gorge and Clifton Downs.
The event, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, is one of dozens of Memory Walks taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year the event is being held in partnership with Bupa Care Home.
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People can attend the walks free of charge, and the money raised will help support local dementia sufferers and their carers. There are more than 7,000 people with dementia in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Actor and Time Team presenter Tony Robinson is urging the people of Bristol to put on their walking shoes and come along to the walk, which kicks off on Sunday at 11am at the Royal Marines Reserve.
Tony, who is an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, said: “I've spent a lot of time being angry at dementia. How dare it take away my mum and my dad?
“One of my frustrations is the fact that we do not talk about it enough. That's what is so uplifting about taking part in Memory Walk - sharing our experiences with others who are going through the same thing and raising money for local people with dementia.”
Now in its 10th year, Memory Walk is Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event, which sees walks taking place throughout September.
Alzheimer’s Society says £35 could support a person with dementia to receive a one hour befriending session with a volunteer, while £104 could allow callers from anywhere in the country to call the national Alzheimer's Society Dementia Helpline each week at their local rate.
Pets are welcome to come along to the Bristol walk, and strollers are invited to enjoy refreshments and share a memory at the Reserve afterwards.
Online registration for the walk is now closed, but people can still sign up by turning up on the day at 10.30am.
Alzheimer's Society supports people living with dementia, and funds research to find a cure. It relies on voluntary donations to continue its work.
One in three people over the age of 65 will die with dementia.
Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. How fast dementia progresses will depend on the individual person and what type of dementia they have.
Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia - more than half have Alzheimer’s disease.
In less than 10 years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051, the research shows.
Adrian Williams, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer's Society in the South West said: “Memory Walk is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. Families, friends, colleagues and individuals can walk together to raise money to help local people with dementia.
“Additionally an array of entertainment and delicious refreshments will be available, making it a day to remember for everyone who takes part.”
To donate to the Alzheimer’s Society, call 0845 306 0898, or visit alzheimers.org.uk.
The Society also provides a National Dementia Helpline, which can be contacted on 0845 300 0336.
To find out more about the Surrey walk, including details of how to get to Royal Marines Reserve, click here.