MEMORY WALK DRAWS 5,000 TO RAISE FUNDS FOR RESEARCH
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.”