Peterborough families come together to remember loved ones hit by dementia

Walkers taking part in the annual Alzheimer's Memory Walk at Ferry Meadows EMN-180916-161943009
Walkers taking part in the annual Alzheimer's Memory Walk at Ferry Meadows EMN-180916-161943009

Hundreds of people came together from across the city to remember loved ones and raise awareness of dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk took place at Ferry Meadows on Sunday, with 1,700 people taking part in the event.

Many wore blue, with messages on t-shirts and costumes to pay tribute to people who had been affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

PCR Extra FM radio DJ Jill Moss cut the ribbon to start Alzheimer’s Society’s Peterborough Memory Walk accompanied by her daughter, Georgina Martin, (9), in memory of Jill’s mum, Peggy Martin, (85), who passed away in May after living with dementia for nearly 10 years, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008.

Later on the same day on her radio show Jill played a mixture of pop and classical song dedications from listeners in tribute to people’s loved ones affected by dementia.

Jill (47) said: “There are so many people here and walking today all coming together, it’s really great to see.

“It’s not just about raising funds for this vital cause, but it’s also about people who have got something in common, meeting others and sharing their stories.

“Today is special for me for two reasons. The first being that it’s my second year wedding anniversary and the second is that it’s my fifth year here at the Memory Walk but the first year without my mother.”

Also attending the walk Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive of Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council said: “This was my third ever Memory Walk today and I joined 1,700 others all walking in memory of loved ones who are fighting or have sadly passed away from Alzheimer’s.

“Together we all walked, sharing stories of family members and friends, we laughed and smiled and together we will all beat dementia.

“A lot of people know someone affected by dementia and my own father passed away from Alzheimer’s 15 years ago.

“The money raised here today is used to support those people and their carers and family members as well as funding research.

“I’d also like to thank all of the wonderful Alzheimer’s Society volunteers who have been amazing and without who none of this would have been possible.”

Tina Kierman, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire said: “Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

“I am so glad that over 1,700 people from across Peterborough stepped out to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities.

“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.

“Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a brilliant success.”

A total of 40 flagship walks are taking place across the country in September and October, or people can organise one of their own. To find out more about the remaining walks and Your Walk, Your Way, go to memorywalk.org.uk

This year, Memory Walk aims to raise £9 million nationally.