Memory Walk in Eaton Park raises thousands of pounds for dementia
- Credit: Jason Mitchell
An estimated 1,000 people, many of whose lives have been touched by dementia, took part in an uplifting charity walk that raised thousands of pounds for the Alzheimer's Society.
This morning's 2km and 6km walks at Eaton Park, Norwich, included many families walking in memory of loved ones, as well as people who have dementia themselves.
Tunes including These Boots are Made for Walkin', and 500 Miles, by the Proclaimers, rang out as participants set off in the rain at 11am.
Sarah Wells, from Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, took part with three generations of her family, in honour of her grandmother Hilda, who had dementia, and died last year.
She said: 'I have worked with people with dementia. It's a heartbreaking disease to watch. They are not the person you know.
'I remember my nanny being a very strong-willed person, and she went back to the person she was. When you see someone you love and they don't know who you are, it's heartbreaking.'
She hoped events like this would help raise awareness of the issue, as well as funds.
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Marie Barrowcliffe, of Allen's Lane in Sprowston, walked with her family for Marilyn Durrant, her partner Paul's mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2010, at the age of 56.
She said: 'It's good that you don't feel alone. Everyone is going through something.
'I was quite emotional when I came here. It's a nice, happy environment, and to see people with dementia walking is nice.'
Jenna Veneziani, the Alzheimer's Society's community fundraiser for Norfolk, said the event followed a similar community-led event last year, which about 180 people joined.
She said: 'It's been electric. Everyone is very up-lifted. Even though it's raining, everyone is smiling and happy they are making a difference.
'Because of the way dementia is, it mostly effects older people, so the idea is that everyone can join in. The idea is that people who are suffering dementia can attend as well, and it's something positive that the family can do together. If you are living with dementia, you will feel you are doing something to make a difference.'
She said the event had raised at least £27,000 so far, with the final total expected to be £50,000.
She added that the charity is seeking volunteers to continue fundraising efforts throughout the year.
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