Almost 3,000 people took part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Clumber Park Memory Walk to fight the UK’s biggest killer.
A huge crowd of walkers, many of whom had photos of loved ones pinned to their blue shirts, gathered at the Nottinghamshire beauty spot before completing a 2.5km or 8km route in aid of dementia research.
Ken Baker cut the ribbon at the start of the event to get walkers underway. Ken was taking part in his first ever Memory Walk in support of his wife of 22 years, Carol, aged 64, who is currently living with frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick’s disease.
He said: “I had a wonderful marriage – Carol and I just worked together so well. She was moved into a care home in July 2018, where she has been for the past year. I visit every day or every other day.
“Sadly we are unable to have a conversation anymore. Sometimes she will virtually ignore me but sometimes she will go to sleep with her head on my shoulder.
“Carol has a lovely smile, which sometimes I still see, and if I hold her hand she will squeeze it back. I think she knows that I’m somebody special, but I’m not sure whether she knows our relationship.”
Attendees also tied personal messages to the Memory Tree, which was in full bloom by the end of the walk.
Lydia Coleman, from Nottinghamshire, often cares for her nan who is living with dementia. Lydia and her family took part in Clumber Park Memory Walk at the weekend.
Lydia said: “Every day I see the strong, independent woman I once knew slip further and further away. She now doesn’t fully understand who I am and can’t comprehend where my daughter appeared from or who she belongs to.
“I was so overcome with emotion when I saw everyone’s posters displaying their reasons for walking. It really humanised this awful disease that I had become numb to. My relationship with my nana has become very logistical and surface level, but today was a time to be human.”
Nasim Minhas, Alzheimer’s Society Area manager for Nottinghamshire, said: “
“I am absolutely delighted that almost 3,000 people united against dementia at the Clumber Park Memory Walk, to improve the lives of people living with the condition.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this Memory Walk such a brilliant success.
“Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with someone developing it every three minutes - yet dementia research still trails far behind other health conditions, after decades of under-funding.”