Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Big Walk on Sunday 13 May was a huge success, and on target to raise thousands of pounds for pioneering dementia research. Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the UK’s leading dementia research charity, cut the ribbon to mark the start of the nine mile circular walk in and around Comberton, in South West Cambridgeshire.
The event was sponsored by Greens health and fitness club in Cambridge and some 300 people stepped up to the challenge from all over the county and beyond to take part in Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Big Walk. Everyone joined in a warm-up session before they set off in the long awaited sunshine. Walkers enjoyed exploring Comberton’s peaceful country lanes and an off-road ramble, following tracks through fields and country paths, alongside beautiful woodland areas. The youngest walker was eight years old and many people bought their four-legged friends along too.
Several walkers talked about the day and their inspiration for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Big Walk:
David Pitches from Haverhill was one of the first walkers across the finishing line and said:
“It was a really pretty route and I was pleased to be one of the first to finish – it took me just under two hours. I lost my mum Jean to Alzheimer’s last year so supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK is very important to me.”
Elaine King from Sutton, near Ely, said:
“My father-in-law George had Alzheimer’s and my husband and I joined in the Big Walk to raise much needed money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The route was really lovely and it was a very well organised event.”
Lisa Dimaline from Cambourne walked with her husband Simon and their two children Thomas, 15, and Amy, 10, and said:
“My mum Jean has Alzheimer’s so we’re doing the Big Walk for her. It’s a horrible disease and this is our way of raising money for new treatments to give hope to other people and future generations.
Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:
“It was a fantastic day and a brilliant sight as a sea of purple t-shirts set off down the country lanes in Comberton for our Big Walk. Everyone had the same aim in mind – to help us achieve our vision at Alzheimer’s Research UK of a world free from dementia.
“Thanks to the generosity of the hundreds of people who took part or made a donation, the Big Walk is set to make a fantastic contribution to our world-class research - it’s just amazing! The money is still coming in and it will pay for a pilot research project to help defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and fund vital equipment for our scientists.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Greens health and fitness centre who sponsored our Big Walk and to the hundreds of people who took part or volunteered to help on the day. A team from St John Ambulance were on standby too and a number of companies kindly contributed water and food to keep everyone’s stamina up and some super raffle prizes to add to the fun of the day.
“There are over 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire living with dementia today and over 820,000 across the UK, with numbers forecast to rise substantially in the next generation. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters to fund our vital research. Every penny raised through our Big Walk will bring us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia. Research is the only answer.”
To help Alzheimer’s Research UK defeat dementia, donate online at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org or call 01223 843899.