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Thou­sands flocked to South Shields for the lat­est Me­mory Walk as part of a na­tional cam­paign from the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety to fund re­search into the dis­ease and sup­port suf­fer­ers

Walk­ers snake their way along the South Shields coastal route. The walk was started by Em­merdale actor John Mid­dle­ton, left, whose char­ac­ter Ash­ley Thomas suf­fered from de­men­tia in the soap de­men­tia - that’s what peo­ple are walk­ing for and that’s what the money we have raised to­day will help to achieve.” San­dra McFar­lane, 61, of North Shields, was walk­ing for both her par­ents, and was joined by daugh­ter Carly Mid­dle­ton, 28, and friend Chris­tine Darn, 62. San­dra said: “I lost my mam Eve­lyn in Fe­bru­ary and my dad Stan is cur­rently liv­ing with de­men­tia and is in a care home. “Fam­i­lies in our sit­u­a­tion end up griev­ing twice be­cause when de­men­tia takes hold it’s al­most as if you’ve al­ready lost them al­ready, but then you have the in­evitable to deal with also.”

Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety Me­mory Walk Of­fi­cer Re­becca Scott said: “We’re so grate­ful to John for his sup­port – it makes a huge dif­fer­ence to have such high pro­file peo­ple help­ing us in our bid to raise aware­ness of de­men­tia.

“We re­ally could not have hoped for a bet­ter turn out.

“The North East Me­mory Walk has in­creased its num­bers ev­ery year, but to smash the 5,000 bar­rier is a real mile­stone.

“The at­mos­phere has been inspirational and in­cred­i­bly up­lift­ing. It’s taken a lot of hard work to make it hap­pen, but it has been worth ev­ery minute.”


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