MP & council organise second annual Memory Walk to unite against Dementia
I have teamed up again with Oldham Council to arrange the second Oldham and Saddleworth Memory Walk, in Alexandra Park on 12th October, starting at the Boathouse café at 11am, to raise awareness about dementia as part of my campaign to develop a Dementia Friendly Oldham.
The walk, in aid of Alzheimer’s Society, will be about an hour long and will include a guided tour and talk about the history of the award winning park.
As chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dementia, and the first MP to become an Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Friends Champions, I know from personal experience how important it is to celebrate the memory of a loved one who has been affected by dementia.
My mum, Angela, died from Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common type of dementia, in 2012 aged 74. I remember her as a brilliant, vivacious, caring woman; a woman who lived her life for social justice before it entered the lexicon.
In its latter stages the disease changed her into a different person, not better or worse, just different. As much as I loved my old mum I loved my new mum too.
It’s lovely that we have now established the Oldham and Saddleworth Memory Walk as a regular event which will help local people not just to remember their loved ones, but also encourage more people to be active helping prevent dementia whilst improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia. If we raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society as a result of this, that’s a fantastic bonus.”
Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “It’s great to be collaborating with Debbie again on this year’s memory walk to raise awareness of dementia and we would like to thank her for being the driving force behind creating a dementia friendly Oldham.
“As Oldham Cares, we’re working together with partners across health and social care to identify what is working well here and what we can improve for local people living with dementia. This includes minimising the risk of developing dementia, providing a timely and accurate diagnosis and care plan and supporting people to access high quality health and social care which enables everyone to be included in our community.
“We want as many people as possible to come down to the Alexandra Park on 12th to take part in one of the walks and show their support.
“If we all do our bit then we can help make our community a positive place to live for those living with dementia.”
Sue Clarke, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Greater Manchester, said: “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 underfunding.
“We are calling on family, friends – and furry four-legged supporters – to unite against dementia this autumn. Dementia devastates lives. Walk with us at Memory Walk and dementia won’t win.
“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.”
You can sign up here.
There’s no fee for the Oldham and Saddleworth Memory Walk, but if participants are able to make a donation to the Oldham Memory JustGiving page for Alzheimer’s Society, every pound raised will help the charity provide vital information, support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by the condition. Link here.