Vicky McClure today (Saturday 7 September) joined hundreds of people at picturesque Wollaton Park to unite against dementia at Nottingham Memory Walk.
Joining Vicky in the sea of blue shirts were six members of the acclaimed BBC programme Our Dementia Choir – Ahmed, Betty, Chris, John, Jean and Bernard, who are all living with dementia. The group joined Vicky on stage to greet the enthusiastic crowd, before singing Stand by Me (Ben E King) to huge applause. Walkers were also treated to a warm-up Zumba session, to get them in the athletic mood. Vicky then cut the ribbon alongside John and Betty, to get the walk underway.
Many walkers accessorised their shirts with tributes to loved ones, and placed tags on the Memory Tree, which was full of messages by the end. The event also saw many furry friends take part – including a Nottingham Memory Walk first: a three-legged dog!
The event was Vicky’s ninth Memory Walk in Nottingham. She is an Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society.
The Line of Duty star completed the Memory Walk with her fellow singers as well as members of her own family in memory of her grandmother, Iris, who was living with dementia before she died in 2015.
Speaking about the choir and her support for Memory Walk, Vicky McClure said:
“There’s nothing nicer than seeing a sea of blue on Wollaton Park! The choir members are true stars, because they are so inspirational. Dementia is such a cruel condition, but the choir members prove dementia doesn’t need to be a barrier to living well with the condition and doing the things you love.
“It’s been my ninth successive Memory Walk and it’s always incredible to see so many people uniting against dementia. It’s a cause that is really close to my heart, having lost my Nana to dementia.
“We want to be in a place where dementia is getting the right funding and we’re closer than ever to finding a cure – which is why I’m calling on people all over the country to join me and many others, by signing up today to take part in a Memory Walk near you.”
Steve Hampson, Head of Region at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with someone developing it every three minutes – yet dementia research still trails far behind other health conditions, after decades of underfunding.
“I am so glad that hundreds of people from across Nottinghamshire united against dementia to improve the lives of people living with the condition.
“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities. 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 to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a brilliant success. I would also encourage anyone unable to take part this time to sign up to the Clumber Park Memory Walk on Sunday 6 October.”
38 Memory Walks are taking place throughout September and October, or people can organise one of their own. To find out more about the remaining walks and Your Walk, Your Way, go to memorywalk.org.uk