A 32 year-old volunteer, Kirsty McCran, is urging supporters to unite against dementia by volunteering to help at the Bath Memory Walk, which is taking place on Sunday 3rd September 2017.
Hundreds have already registered to walk – with more joining by the moment – and Alzheimer’s Society is looking to add to the number of helpers.
Kirsty, who lives in Swindon, said: “My partner Jo and I had previously taken part in the Bristol Memory Walk as walkers, and it was great fun, although tiring. We saw what other volunteers were doing and what a difference they made to the day, cheering people on and so forth.
“I had also read that without volunteers the walks simply can’t go ahead, and knowing how much money the walks can raise for Alzheimer’s Society, I wanted to help out with that even if only in a small way. So we signed up to volunteer at last year’s Bath Memory Walk.
“Jo and I were marshals directing the walkers along the route. I love that it’s a family event and you can even take your dogs along with you.
“Everyone is so supportive of each other and thankful; we were cheering the walkers on and yet they were thanking us for being there! It’s a lovely community that everyone was welcomed into.
“I lost my Nana from complications with Alzheimer’s which was heart-breaking. Coming from thinking not many other people can understand what it’s like, to a Memory Walk where you can see and be surrounded by hundreds of other people who are also affected by it in some way was very comforting.
“It makes you realise you’re not alone and all these other people are out there also trying to help.
“If people are considering getting involved I would say ‘do it!’ It’s a lovely day out, and you’re helping raise awareness as well as necessary funds for such an important cause which is close to so many people’s hearts.”
43-year-old Mark Jagielka from Westbury also volunteered at last year’s Bath Memory Walk. He added: “It is well worth volunteering. It gives you a sense of happiness that your little bit helped make it a nice day for others.”
Bath Memory Walk takes place on Sunday 3rd September. Volunteers can sign up by visiting memorywalk.org.uk/volunteer.
Claire Haines, Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk Officer, said: “We rely on the support of volunteers to make our walks happen.
“Ways to be involved include anything from setting up to signposting, presenting medals, to giving out water or cheering on our wonderful walkers. We have something for everyone.
“Bath Memory Walk provides an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful backdrop of Royal Victoria Park as people step out for a choice of a two or six and a half kilometre route.
“There are estimated to be more than 2,600 people living with dementia in Bath and North East Somerset. Volunteers are a vital part of a very special day. Anyone interested in volunteering or walking can find out more and sign up at memorywalk.org.uk.
“Around 25 people have put their names forward as helpers at Bath Memory Walk. We would like to add another 25 people to join us.
“Memory Walk will help Alzheimer’s Society invest £150 million in research over the next decade and to provide information, care and support. That’s why every step matters.
“There is a great buzz at Memory Walk, a lovely atmosphere and fabulous community spirit for people taking part as well as everyone who joins us as volunteers.”