Torbay walkers enjoy a grand day out for Alzheimer's
A TEN-MILE sponsored walk along part of Torbay’s coast has raised more than one thousand pounds for Alzheimer’s Society.
The walk, from Berry Head to Torquay Harbour, was organised by Carolyn Starkings, whose mother suffers from dementia.
Carolyn was joined by more than 20 friends and colleagues, all of whom sported balloons and signs stating who they were dedicating their walk to.
Timed to coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day, this was one of many Memory Walks taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in September to help raise money to fight dementia.
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Walkers could chose to do either five or ten miles, and although most of them completed the full ten miles, one woman left after five miles having just received a phone call to advise that her first grandchild was about to be born!
One of the oldest walkers in the group was a lady aged 80 who easily completed the full ten miles, as did canine friend, Pip.
Each of the walkers raised sponsorship money prior to the walk, and this amount was enhanced by local people who donated spare change along the walk route.
The money raised will help fund both local services here in our own community by establishing more Memory Cafés and also to fund further research into the disease, as current research is only in its infant stage.
Carolyn, who works for Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust, had previously completed several walks in aid of Cancer Research in the Torbay area but having seen first-hand the effect dementia has had on both her mother and the whole family, she recognised an opportunity to raise funds to aid research and awareness of dementia, the current research being approximately ten years behind that of cancer.
The number of people with dementia is steadily increasing. Alzheimer's Society believes that careful planning for the future is needed now to ensure that the right care and support is available.
It is estimated that by 2021 there will be one million people with dementia in the UK and this is expected to rise to over 1.7 million people with dementia by 2051.*
Although this illness is predominately thought of as being something that affects people over the age of 65, there are cases of people as young as in their twenties who are suffering from it.
It also has a huge impact on both family and friends of sufferers.
Carolyn said: “I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone involved; to the walkers and their sponsors, the friends who helped with organising the walk and the generous members of the public we met along the way.
“Huge thanks also to the many local businesses who helped support the walk, despite difficult financial times; Berry Head Hotel who provided a meeting room for walkers to register, Asda who donated fruit and bottled water, Broadsands café owner, Pete who provided hot drinks at the half way mark, and Pier Point Restaurant in Torquay who served up tea and cakes to the tired and hungry walkers at the finish line.
“I was really overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and support. I know that the money raised will help to make a big difference in the lives of those affected by this illness. Our presence on the day was also noted by so many people, thus heightening the awareness here in the Bay. “