Renfrew woman steps up to support dementia research in honour of nan

11 April 2018

A corporate sales manager is taking on the Glasgow Kiltwalk to raise money for dementia research in honour of her grandmother who has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for around a decade.

Philippa Park and her Nan

Philippa Park and her Nan

Philippa Park, from Renfrew, will walk 23 miles on Sunday 29 April to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The 47-year-old decided to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity, which has invested more than £6.7million in research in Scotland, as she has witnessed her grandmother’s deterioration with Alzheimer’s.

She said:

“My nan now spends her life in a care home, she cannot do anything for herself and sleeps all day. She no longer knows who I am, she doesn’t know I’m her granddaughter. But she’s still the same loving person so if you go and see her she still wants to give you a hug and a kiss.

“She always took pride in her appearance, put everyone first and couldn’t do enough for anyone. So to see her the way she is now is tough. I would give anything to have even half an hour with her where she was of sound mind and we have the giggles we used to have.”

Philippa has previously done several charity walks, with her last walking challenge in 2015 involving three Kiltwalks and a two-and-a-half-day trek around the Isle of Arran. However, after suffering hip, thigh and ankle injuries she decided to take a break and is now looking forward to clocking up the miles again.

Philippa Park

Philippa Park

She will be joined by her best friends Nikki Grant and Tina Harrigan, plus Tina’s daughter Shannon, with the team all raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Philippa said:

“I’m really looking forward to the Glasgow Kiltwalk. The atmosphere is great and you get a lot of support on route.

“In previous years I’ve completed it in about eight hours, but we are all different fitness levels, so as long as we all finish together, I don’t really care how long it takes us.”

Philippa has so far raised over £350, with her employer, Arnold Clark, who are one of the sponsors of Kiltwalk, agreeing to match her total. To sponsor Philippa go to https://glasgowkiltwalk2018.everydayhero.com/uk/philippa

Kyle Lockhart, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Fundraising Officer for Scotland, said: “There are around 70,000 people with dementia in the Scotland and Philippa’s story shows the devastating effect dementia can have on a family.

“The vital funds raised by Philippa and her team-mates will power world-class dementia research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.

“We hope Philippa’s story will inspire more people to sign up to take on a Kiltwalk and raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

The Kiltwalk is one of Scotland biggest annual fundraisers, attracting 14,000 walkers last year and raising £2.5m for nearly 800 charities.

The Glasgow Kiltwalk is the first of four events, with walks also taking place in Aberdeen on 3 June, Dundee on 19 August and Edinburgh on 16 September.

There are three distances to choose from – the six-mile Wee Wander, 15-mile Big Stroll and 23-mile Mighty Stride – and the Hunter Foundation boosts fundraising totals by 40 per cent.

To sign up for a Kiltwalk for Alzheimer’s Research UK go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/support-us/fundraise/events

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