A family from Aberdeenshire will walk 26km through the Scottish Highlands on Saturday 12 July to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Alison Blaikie, her husband Dave and mum Anne Kennedy, from Elrick, and her sister Caroline Kennedy, from Kingswells, will be joined by seven friends for a trek through a northern section of the Cairngorms – the largest national park in the British Isles. They will be walking in memory of William Kennedy – Alison and Caroline’s dad and Anne’s husband – who died two years ago after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The group’s adventure will start in Nethy Bridge, a small village in Strathspey. Their route then takes them along the Ryvoan Pass, which boasts breath-taking views of Lochan Uaine and the picturesque RSPB nature reserve, Abernethy Forest. From there, they head over to Glenmore Forest Park, which lies at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, and down into the tourist resort of Aviemore.
Alison, who works as an administrator for an oilfield services company in Aberdeen, talked about the walk and her motivation for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK:
“Dad was born and grew up in Nethy Bridge, so it’s an area special to us all. It’s a walk he would have done many times before in his lifetime. That weekend also marks two years since we lost him, so it seemed like the perfect way to remember him. While some of the group are seasoned walkers, others haven’t walked such a long distance before so it’s certainly going to be a challenge! I’m sure it’ll be lots of fun and knowing we’re raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK will really spur us on.
“My dad was a really gentle man who was loved by everyone who knew him. He’d always go out of his way to help others, and was always doing odd jobs for people. When Dad retired, him and Mum joined a walking club and went on regular, organised walking trips. They also loved travelling and managed to visit New Zealand and Australia before he became too unwell.”
“We originally set ourselves a target of raising £1,000 but already we’re up over £1,900, so now we’re just trying to raise as much as possible. Alzheimer’s Research UK relies on donations and their scientists are doing a tremendous job. As a family, we’ve had first-hand experience of this disease, and it’s horrific. We’re desperate for a cure to stop other families having to go through what we have and that’s why we’re supporting their vital work.”
Alison’s mum Anne said:
“Willie was a joiner in Aberdeen and worked hard all his life. He’d looked forward to retiring and having time to relax and enjoy his golf and travelling but those dreams were soon shattered. It’s dreadful to think there’s so little money for research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. I’m so pleased to be doing something positive to help by raising money. Willie really enjoyed his walking and we did many Highland walks in our time, so he will be in our thoughts every step of the way.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We can’t thank Alison, Anne, Dave, Caroline and the other walkers enough for taking on this Highland trek in support of our pioneering research, and we wish them the very best on the day. Every £20 they raise is enough to fund another hour of research, bringing much-needed new treatments ever closer.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 2,700 people in Aberdeenshire. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters to fund our world-class research.”
To help the walkers raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, visit their fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/revoanchallenge. Alternatively, text VOAN82 and the amount donated (example VOAN82 £10) to 70070.
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
Posted in Fundraising news