PICTURE GALLERY: Thousands take part in Memory Walk at Southsea

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THEY may have gone from our lives, but they will never be forgotten.

That was the message from participants at yesterday’s Memory Walk, which was held in Southsea.

Thousands of people turned up for Portsmouth's Memory Walk, in support of Alzheimer's Society. Picture: David George

Thousands of people turned up for Portsmouth's Memory Walk, in support of Alzheimer's Society. Picture: David George

More than 2,500 people turned out for the 7km walk, which was held in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.

According to statistics from the charity, more than 2,200 people in Portsmouth are living with dementia.

Many people came along with their families and friends, others brought their dogs out for the walk – but conversation was flowing as everyone shared their stories with one another.

One of those who came along to the walk was Luke West, from Yately.

Luke, 30, came along to the Memory Walk in a unicorn costume – but had good reason for doing so.

He said: ‘I’m doing the walk in memory of my sister-in-law, who passed away at Christmas. A group of us are here to keep her spirit alive and raise money in her name.

‘The unicorn was one of her favourite things, so I thought it would be a fitting tribute to dress up as one today.’

In a family affair, Shirley and Andy Cooper walked with their daughter Clare Pearson and her partner Lee.

Shirley said: ‘We have lots of family members suffering with dementia.

‘My dad died a few years ago from vascular dementia, so we wanted to support everyone who is currently suffering from it.

‘There’s a fantastic atmosphere today and the weather is brilliant – it is a beautiful day to do something positive.’

Tamsin de la Haye, from Southsea, brought along her pet dog Otto for the walk.

She said: ‘He’s only eight months old, so I have a funny feeling we’ll be stopping at every lamppost we find today.

‘It is a great feeling to be able to do something for Alzheimer’s Society. I am doing the full 7km and it is for a brilliant cause, so it will all be worthwhile.’

Grace Jeffrey from Horsham also came to take part in the walk, having already raised £200 for Alzheimer’s Society.

The 21-year-old said: ‘I’m walking in memory of my nan – I had the day off work and thought it would be nice to come down and do it.

‘There are so many people here today and the sad reality is that she won’t even know I’ve done this.

‘Dementia can be so devastating for families because so many people suffer from it and it’s a silent killer, so to do something like this is really quite amazing.’