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Walkers to pound pavements for Ipswich Defeat Dementia Walk 2018

PUBLISHED: 19:00 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:17 24 September 2018

Roger Fern will be taking part in the charity walk in support of Alzheimers Research UK Picture: JOHN NICE

Roger Fern will be taking part in the charity walk in support of Alzheimers Research UK Picture: JOHN NICE


More than 100 people are preparing to pound the pavements for a major walking event aimed at raising vital cash for Alzheimer’s research.

Roger Fern at the last Defeat Dementia Walk Picture GARY DONNISONRoger Fern at the last Defeat Dementia Walk Picture GARY DONNISON

Some 160 walkers will attend the third Ipswich Defeat Dementia Walk – which this year features dual half-marathon and half-kilomathon events – on Saturday, October 13.

Both routes begin and end at Cult Café on Ipswich Waterfront.

Organiser Jessica Baldry first launched the half-marathon to remember her grandmother Cynthia O’Mara, who died of Alzheimer’s aged 83 in 2015.

She said: “I organised a memory walk for her when she died, it started out just as a family thing but then suddenly loads of strangers decided they wanted to get involved too.

Jessica's first dementia walk was organised in memory of her late Grandmother Picture: JESSICA BALDRYJessica's first dementia walk was organised in memory of her late Grandmother Picture: JESSICA BALDRY

“Soon there were over 100 people there and only two of my family members, they all came because they had loved ones who had suffered and they had been affected by Alzheimer’s.”

Former Ipswich mayor Roger Fern – chairman of the Ipswich Dementia Action Alliance – will also be attending the walk.

He is a frontline carer for his wife Pat, who was diagnosed with dementia eight years ago.

Mr Fern said: “I think Alzheimer’s Research UK is an excellent organisation. There is still so much many people don’t know about dementia because it comes in over a hundred different forms.

“People still don’t understand that it is not a mental disease it is physical which is crucial to understanding the condition.

“The first dementia walk started when I was mayor, as it happened I had a few mayoral things to do on the day but fortunately I was able to take part the following year.

“It was significant that a large number of walkers had pictures on the their backs and messages for the loved ones who they were remembering.”

After raising £22,000 at the 2016 walk and £16,000 in 2017, Ms Baldry has set a target of £13,000 for this year’s event to reflect the 13 mile and 13km charity routes set for the day.

Several companies including OneLife Suffolk and the East of England Coop will be showing their support.

To sponsor a walker visit the Just Giving page here.

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