Interior designer Linda Barker is supporting Yoga for Alzheimer’s, a nationwide event being held to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, after her dad sadly passed away with dementia.
The initiative is encouraging people to get into their favourite yoga positions while raising vital funds to help find treatments for dementia, which affects 850,000 people in the UK.
Miss Barker, 54, said the event, which is taking place in 16 major cities across the country from Sunday 12 June to International Yoga Day on Tuesday 21 June, is a “fantastic concept”.
For the television presenter and Splash! star, yoga has become a way of life. She took up the activity at the age of 40 and released a DVD for beginners in 2004.
But the cause itself has particular significance for Linda. In 2014 her dad Bob Barker died with dementia at the age of 87.
The former Changing Rooms host, who lives in London, said:
“Yoga for Alzheimer’s is a fantastic concept and one I am extremely proud to support as it’s a cause close to my heart.
“My father, Bob Barker, had a raft of health problems, including dementia, and spent the last years of his life in a care home before passing away in September 2014.
“He was comfortable in the care home and he was looked after really well, but it was sad to see someone so very capable and strong stripped of his strength and dignity.
“My mother, Dorothy, died aged 76 from heart disease. Seeing the impact of illness on my parents has more recently been a motivator for keeping myself in the best of health.
“I do yoga whenever I can – at least three times a week – which also helps me relax.
“I’d encourage everyone to support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital work by signing up for a Yoga for Alzheimer’s event – every penny raised will make such a difference in the fight against dementia.”
The yoga sessions, led by trained teachers, will be held at venues in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Oxford, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Nottingham, Norwich, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Tickets are £15 each, with 100 per cent of the profits going to Alzheimer’s Research UK, and those taking part are encouraged to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100.
For more information and to sign up go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/fundraising/yoga-for-alzheimers/
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are very grateful to Linda for supporting Yoga for Alzheimer’s, it is going to be a really enjoyable event.
“One in three people over 65 will die with some form of dementia. It can only be defeated through research but funding lags far behind other serious diseases.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the way in finding preventions and treatments for dementia.
“We are very proud to be hosting inclusive events and those signing up to Yoga for Alzheimer’s are going to have a fantastic afternoon of yoga taught by some very skilled teachers.
“We hope supporters will grab their yoga mats and join Linda and Alzheimer’s Research UK in the fight to defeat dementia.”