Vicky McClure joined a tide of people who went the extra mile to raise money for people affected by dementia at Alzheimer’s Society’s Nottingham Memory Walk this weekend, on Sunday 19 September 2021.
The Line of Duty star, who is an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, took a short break from filming to attend the Nottingham walk, as walkers turned Wollaton Park blue to remember, and support loved ones affected by dementia.
The actress, and her family, have attended the Nottingham event for over a decade in memory of her grandmother Iris, who lived with dementia before she died in 2015.
Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Vicky McClure said: “I’m really excited to be back at Wollaton Park for this year’s Memory Walk, now more than ever we need to show our support for those living with dementia.
“After so long, it’s emotional to see lots of people take part in Memory Walks across the three nations. I love getting out in the fresh air for a walk, not only is it good for our physical health, it’s great for our mental wellbeing. It’s even more special to know that we’ll all be walking for a loved one with dementia, and for those who may have been hugely impacted by the pandemic.”
Vicky cut the ribbon alongside David Smith, who completed the walk with his wife, Amy, and their one-year-old daughter, Annie. David, from Nottingham, was walking in memory of his ‘best friend’ and grandad, John, who sadly passed away with dementia aged 85 earlier this year, and his auntie Susan, who aged 61 is living with early onset dementia.
David said: “Grandad was my best friend, and it was hard to watch him deteriorate. It was difficult to watch the way dementia changed him. The disease slowly stripped him of who he was, but I hold on to the memories and the fact he still had some memory of who I was at the end.
“To see my kind and intelligent auntie also succumb to the devastating effects of dementia has been hard for the entire family. I am walking in memory of my grandad and auntie but also to raise money to help support not only those who are affected by this awful condition but also to help their families support and look after them.”
People affected by dementia have been worst hit by the pandemic and face a difficult road to recovery due to a lack of social contact, routine and interruptions to essential care and support. Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect support line has been flooded with hundreds of calls from relatives telling them how quickly their loved ones have gone downhill, losing their abilities to talk or feed themselves. Alzheimer’s Society support services have been a lifeline and have been used over 6 million times since March 2020 showing support is needed more than ever.
Kate Lee, CEO at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are so incredibly grateful for the support of our wonderful Ambassador Vicky McClure, who has come together to support Memory Walk and raise awareness of dementia, which has affected so many families including hers and my own. While looking out into the sea of blue t-shirts, it is so moving to think that everyone, including Vicky, has their own personal reason for taking part in Memory Walk. Coronavirus has left a huge hole in the hearts of thousands of grieving families, many still finding it hard to cope watching their loved one’s condition accelerate, permanently impacted by the pandemic.
“Without funding through events like Memory Walk, we simply wouldn’t have the means to provide much needed support, which is sadly still so in demand even in the wake of the pandemic. It’s still not too late to sign up or donate through our website, because every penny will make a massive difference to the 850,000 people living with dementia today.”
Visit memorywalk.org.uk to find out more about the remaining Memory Walk events or to organise your own Memory Walk at a location and time of your choosing.