WALKERS lapped up the sunshine as they took part in a charity event on Southsea seafront to honour people they know with dementia.
Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Frank Jonas and ‘Touchline’ Tony Male from Pompey, were among the 275 people who took part in the Memory Walk, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa Care Homes.
Walkers could choose between a 3km and a 10km walk, both of which left from Castle Field and went along the seafront in a loop.
There were stalls, kids’ entertainment and a performance from Patey Day Centre Brass Band to help boost the total raised for the charity.
Debra Edwards, 47, of Walden Road, Stamshaw, took part in the 3km walk with a host of friends and family, in honour of her dad Dave Journeaux, who was recently diagnosed with dementia.
She said: ‘My dad is not the dad I had before. He used to be the life and soul of the party and now he just sits there.
‘He’s lost his speech completely so he can’t talk to us. I know he recognises us because he does smile, but he can’t communicate at all.
‘It’s very hard. Sometimes I feel okay, then other days it really gets to me.
She added: ‘I wanted to do the walk to help raise money for research.
‘It’s too late for my dad now, but hopefully we can help them investigate how to stop other people getting to that stage.’
Juliet Woods took part in the walk with her husband Dave, who was diagnosed with dementia two years ago.
The 47-year-old, from Chichester, said: ‘It was a lovely event. It was nice to realise there are so many other people out there who are in the same boat as we are.’
The charity hopes to raise £20,000 from the event, all of which will go towards supporting its programmes in Portsmouth, such its dementia cafes and singing for the brain classes, which encourages participants with the condition to sing through memories in their brain.
Memory Walk officer Kat Hartley, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Events like this are very important because they raise a lot of cash for our projects and they help raise awareness of dementia and the services we provide.’