A memorable walk for all

Leeds residents are being urged to put on their walking shoes and support the Alzheimer’s Society 2012 Memory Walk.

Memory Walk is the Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest annual fundraising and awareness raising event. It is open to people of all ages and will take place on Sunday 23 September in the beautiful surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey Gardens, starting at 2pm.

Families and individuals are invited to take part in the half mile walk to help raise funds to support around 8500 local people with dementia and their carers. A variety of entertainment and refreshments will be available making it a day to remember for the whole family.

Memory Walks are taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout September. Registration is free and can be done online at www.memorywalk.org.uk/leeds

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for adult social care said:
“Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia can have a devastating impact – not only on the person who has been diagnosed, but also on their family and friends.

“The Alzheimer's Society do a fantastic job of supporting people with dementia and their families and friends, helping them to enjoy their time together for as long as possible. That's why I want to encourage people to take part in Memory Walk 2012 and help raise money to support local people with dementia.”

Peter Ruickbie, manager of the Alzheimer’s Society in Leeds said:
‘Memory Walk is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon. From youngsters to grandparents and sometimes their dog, Memory Walk sees whole families coming together to fight dementia. Additionally there will be entertainment and refreshments available making it a day to remember for everyone who takes part.

‘Thanks to the support of BUPA Care Homes, Memory Walk is able to support more people living with dementia in Leeds through the vital funds that are raised.’

Members of one family who took part in last year’s Memory Walk, said:
“We had a fabulous day last year, making it a family day out with a picnic to follow. We were walking for my mother who has dementia. I got myself sponsored by friends and neighbours and raised over £200 to help support the work of Alzheimer’s Society in Leeds. I would encourage everyone to sign up today.”

Leeds City Council made a formal commitment to the city becoming a dementia-friendly community earlier this year. The council are working closely with NHS Leeds to improve quality of life and local services for people with dementia, their families and carers. A local strategy document entitled 'Living well with dementia in Leeds' has been drafted, which sets out a shared vision and approach to achieve the aims of the National Dementia Strategy. The draft strategy is available for people to comment on until 30 September 2012 on the NHS Leeds website. To contribute please go to: www.leeds.nhs.uk/Have-your-say/Do-you-want-to/your-views-on-the-draft-leeds-dementia-strategy.htm

Notes to editors:

To find out more about dementia in general and about our plans for the day please contact Peter Ruickbie on Leeds 231 1727 or email peter.ruickbie@alzheimers.org.uk.
• Memory Walk is Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising and awareness raising event which sees walks taking place around the UK throughout September.
• Memory Walk 2012 is being held in partnership with BUPA Care Homes. Together, Alzheimer’s Society and BUPA aim to support more people living with dementia through the vital funds that are raised.
• One in three people over 65 will die with dementia
• Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia with more than half having Alzheimer’s Disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051
• Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them
• Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
• Alzheimer's Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
• Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0845 300 0336 or visit alzheimers.org.uk

Bupa Care Services
• In the UK, BUPA Care Services, that includes BUPA Care Homes, is the second biggest care home provider.
• They have more than 300 nursing and residential care homes, and look after over 18,000 people.
• Over 70% of their UK residents receive some form of state funding, either from local authorities or the NHS.
• BUPA Care Services employ over 27,000 people in the UK.
• BUPA is a leader in dementia care. Their unique ‘Person first, dementia second’ training has been specially developed by Bradford Dementia Group at the University of Bradford.
• They look after a further 10,000 people in care homes in Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
• For more information, visit www.bupa.co.uk/care-homes

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk