Kerry cuts the ribbon as Memory Walk returns
Morpeth nurse Kerry Cafferty was given a special honour as about 1,200 Alzheimer’s Society supporters joined forces to pay tribute to loved ones affected by dementia.
The event at Bents Park in South Shields on Saturday marked a welcome return for the charity’s popular Memory Walk, which had to be cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Walkers, many sporting eye-catching costumes or Alzheimer’s Society branded T-shirts, turned the stunning coastal walk into a sea of blue to remember and support those close to their hearts.
Among them was Kerry, 45, whose mother Patricia Humble, 72, is living with dementia.
Kerry was caring for her at home until recently, but due to her deteriorating condition Patricia is now in a care home.
This year’s walk started in two groups an hour apart to help maintain social distancing and she was thrilled to be chosen to cut the ribbon to get the first one underway.
On the walk, Kerry was accompanied by a group made up of family and friends – all dressed in striking pink tutus and Alzheimer’s Society T-shirts.
She said: “It has been a very special day and it has helped me to focus on all the wonderful memories I have of mam. Even though she doesn’t recognise me anymore, I know she would be proud that I’m walking for her.”
Walkers had the choice of a 1.5km or 7km route, taking in stunning coastal views. All were stepping out with the aim of stopping dementia in its tracks after a devastating period for those living with the disease.
Danielle Cooper, Alzheimer’s Society area manager, said: “We are in awe of our incredible fundraisers, who turned out in their hundreds to support the estimated 39,000 people living with dementia in the North East.
“It was extremely moving to see so many people come together to honour or remember their loved ones.
“The pandemic has been catastrophic for people with dementia, with Alzheimer’s Society’s services – like our Dementia Connect support line – used over six million times since lockdown began in March 2020.
“Every pound raised will help us provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.”