Sheer determination made Horsham Memory Walk a roaring success at the weekend, according to Alzheimer’s Society.
A total of £2,087 has so far been totted up from both the Memory Walk and Music Festival and Family Fun Day on Sunday August 24. But a further £3,000 is expected in sponsorship from the walkers.
More than 80 people took part in the Memory Walk, which had a choice of two distances – either 1.2 or 3.9 miles – at the Red Lyon pub in Slinfold.
The walk, which included an evening and afternoon of entertainment, was organised by Jess Hillicks.
The 51-year-old’s mum Rosemarie Clark was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about four years ago, and is now in the later stages of the illness in a care home in West Sussex.
Jess, from Horsham, said: “My inspiration for the event was my mum but I was touched by how many people told me of their stories of Alzheimer’s and how this coming together helped them as they could share their stories and enjoy themselves.’’
During the afternoon and evening, there was live entertainment from seven local bands, with The Saviours of Soul as the headline act. There were also stalls, including a raffle, tombola, craft tent in which children could colour-in a forget-me-knot and dedicate it to a loved one living with dementia and put it on the Memory Tree, hook-a-duck, coconut shy and a hog roast.
Jess added: “I am really proud of the event and it meant a lot to me to see so many people there all day enjoying themselves and contributing to what is a brilliant total. It was a real family event. The music was great and again so many people hung around to have fun and celebrate a good cause.”
Hannah Miller, Alzheimer’s Society community fundraiser for West Sussex and Surrey, said: “The day was an outstanding achievement with so many walkers and supporters coming along for both the Memory Walk and the days entertainment and activities.
“I would also like to say a huge thanks to both Jess and all of her friends, family and volunteers who helped out on the day - it would not have been possible without them.
“Jess put everything into making the day a success; her determination and passion to make a difference shone through on the day.’’
Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk