Over the last year regular viewers of popular ITV drama Emmerdale have seen local vicar Ashley Thomas live with dementia; a storyline which has grabbed the nation’s attention. Ashley was diagnosed nearly a year ago and is struggling with its effects on a daily basis, often forgetting words or to do simple tasks, all the while his family and close friends try to cope with it too.
Emmerdale star John Middleton – vicar Ashley Thomas in the popular drama – is joining local MP Andrew Jones and members of the public on the Harrogate Memory Walk on Saturday 10 September 2016. Memory Walks are the major fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society and occur nationwide.
Meeting at the Pump Rooms entrance to the Valley Gardens, Harrogate, the event will start at 2pm. It comprises two laps of a gentle 0.8 mile route around the picturesque Valley Gardens with the aim of raising at least £5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Alongside the walk, there will be a tombola and information available on dementia and services the Society offers.
According to a government report, 1 in 3 people will care for someone suffering from dementia in their lifetime. Dementia remains one of the top five underlying causes of death in the UK; 1 in 3 people who die after the age of 65 in the UK have dementia.
Mr Jones commented:
This constituency has the largest number of people on the dementia register in Yorkshire. We cannot afford to ignore this issue. There are improvements being made constantly in dementia treatment and care and it is important to maintain that momentum locally and nationally. Events like the Harrogate Memory Walk help do that.
Dementia is a not a symptom of old age; it is not a ‘fact of life’. It is a disease and as a disease there will be a cure. I want you to join me in being a part of finding that cure, step by step and pound by pound.
John Middleton, who plays Ashley Thomas in the Yorkshire based drama, Emmerdale, said:
I am delighted to be taking part in the Harrogate Memory Walk and am really looking forward to the day. Memory Walks take place all over the country in autumn each year and are a great opportunity for the whole family to come together in a really positive way to help Alzheimer’s Society fight dementia.
Everyone can help to make a real difference to those living with dementia and ongoing work towards finding a cure by taking part in a Memory Walk and raising vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society.
Alzheimer’s Society services Manager, Alison Wrigglesworth said:
Alzheimer’s Society would like to thank Andrew Jones MP for organising the Harrogate Memory Walk and supporting people living with dementia in the Harrogate area.
Raising funds for Alzheimer’s Society is a vital way of supporting people living with this condition, and money raised at the Harrogate walk will help fund research into better treatments as well as existing services, such as dementia cafes and Singing for the Brain groups.
If you would like to join Andrew on the Memory Walk you can call his office on 01423 529614 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
To sponsor those doing the walk go to www.justgiving.com/harrogatememorywalk or text ‘AJMP77 £10’ to 70070 to donate £10.