Jamie Anderson, producer, writer, director and son of Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson, joined hundreds of people last Sunday to unite against dementia at Alzheimer’s Society’s Bath Memory Walk.
Gerry Anderson, whose credits include Thunderbirds, Stingray, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterions, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia in December 2012.
His son, Jamie, continues to warmly support Alzheimer’s Society in his father’s memory. On Sunday, he cut the ribbon to start the charity’s second Memory Walk in Bath.
Despite the heavy rain, 1,300 people had registered for the Bath Memory Walk in Royal Victoria Park. Jamie was joined at the starting line by the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Ian Gilchrist.
Jamie, who took part in the walk with his dog, Ernie, said: “Dad raised over £1 million for Alzheimer’s Society by doing Memory Walk and I’m determined to continue his legacy by supporting these events.
“I’m delighted to be back in Bath this year to join in Memory Walk again. Despite today’s awful weather conditions it’s fantastic to see everyone coming together in this heart-warming show of solidarity.
“Before the walk began I asked people to turn to those next to them and explain why they were walking. You find that dementia has touched people’s lives in many ways, and that unites us. Dementia can leave people feeling lonely and isolated. But it’s important to know that no one is alone, there is help and support out there.”
Claire Haines, Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk Officer said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer. I am so glad that people stepped out today in their hundreds to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
“Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.
“Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research. Our ambition is to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.
“People taking part in today’s event have already raised more than £30,000 and we expect to see that figure soar in the coming weeks.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a huge success. It was fantastic to see that even the weather couldn’t dampen people’s spirits.”
Kathryn Quincey-Weale, who travelled from Dorset to take part in Memory Walk with her husband, Richard Weale, and two children Ben (8) and Elizabeth (6), said: “My grandpa had Alzheimer’s. It’s 20 years since he passed away.
“We wanted to do something as a family to remember him. Memory Walk has been perfect because the children could join in too. It’s been a lovely day, despite the rain!”
The parents of two-year-old Bella explained why they were taking part in Memory Walk. They said: “We want Bella to understand that sometimes it’s nice to do things for other people. We want her to grow up with a sense of the importance of giving something back.”
Eileen Rumble, from Chippenham, was the first woman to complete the longer 6.5km walk. She said: “I am walking for two friends who have passed away from dementia. It’s very important to make sure we keep raising money for this important cause.”