The Unforgettable team joined thousands of others for the Alzheimer’s society London Memory Walk, held earlier this month.
Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world…so when a few thousand of us gathered at the Tower of London on Saturday 5th September it was pretty clear to everyone that this was going to be a special day.
We were all there with one simple purpose; to walk for a world without dementia. But whilst raising money and awareness of the condition was definitely our priority, that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy ourselves, too, and after a rousing speech from Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes, and celebrity supporter Meera Syal (who has a close family member living with dementia) we set off on our 7km walk around the City of London.
The mood was upbeat; the rain thankfully held off and the Unforgettable team got down to doing what we do best…talking. As we
ambled at a leisurely pace pounded the streets of the city’s financial and business district in our bright yellow t-shirts, we shared stories with lovely like-minded people, many of whom had first-hand experience of dementia.
Some were at the beginning of the dementia journey – one lady told us how her mum had just been diagnosed and wanted to learn ‘everything’ about it. For others, the journey was over… on the backs of their t-shirts they wore photographs of loved ones now absent from their lives. There were smiling mums and dads – some heartbreakingly young – grandparents holding babies, best friends, uncles, and aunts…thousands of them. Many people walked in teams cheerfully declaring themselves part of ‘Joan’s Squad’ or ‘Pete’s Friends.’ Frankly, it felt humbling to be part of it.
As well as telling people about our great new website, the Unforgettable team had a few personal reasons for taking part in the memory walk. For writer Kate, it was the anniversary of her mum Sarah’s death from dementia. She brought along her children Grace and Ava who were proud to do the walk with ‘Granny Sarah’s’ name written on the backs of their t-shirts. Both agreed it was a very good way to remember her and decided they’d definitely like to do the walk again, but next time could they please wear pink wigs (like the men in front of us were wearing) and be taken straight to that delicious cupcake stall when they’d finished. We all had to agree, especially about the cupcakes. Well anyone who walks 7km deserves a treat, don’t they?
TEAM UPDATE! The Unforgettable team (of just four) raised £550 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Memory Walks are taking place nationwide until the middle of October. You might still have time to register. Find out if there’s one near you by clicking here.
Words: Kate Corr
Photographs: Alexander Farthing