Reporting Back column with Andrew Jones MP

This years Memory Walk at Valley Gardens will take place on Saturday 16 September.
This years Memory Walk at Valley Gardens will take place on Saturday 16 September.

On 16 September we will be walking again to beat dementia as part of the Alzheimer’s Society fund- raising Memory Walks. With the Society and Harrogate Borough Council I have helped organise two previous Memory Walks and these have raised more than £10,000.

Those funds are used to support those living with dementia and to continue the research to find a cure.

Sadly, Harrogate and Knaresborough has among the worst dementia prevalence rates in the country.

This disease is therefore close to all of us. I would guess that just about everyone reading this article knows someone who is living with dementia.

There will be some reading who are suffering from it themselves and others who are too but are yet to be diagnosed.

Much is seen on our news about things which divide us. But we are all human beings and are susceptible to the same illnesses.

We can also come together supporting those medical and research professionals who work tirelessly to find a cure.

This year’s walk will take place at 2pm on Saturday 16 September, meeting at the main entrance to Valley Gardens. It comprises two laps of a gentle 0.8 mile route around the picturesque Valley Gardens with the aim of raising at least £10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Alongside the walk, there will be a tombola and information available on dementia and services the society offers.

We are also fortunate in being supported by Knaresborough’s latest singing sensation – the incredibly talented Becky Bowe.

Many will have seen her storm to victory on the TV competition Pitch Battle and know of her long-standing support for the Alzheimer’s Society. This support includes releasing a single in aid of dementia care and taking part in the charity’s Singing for the Brain initiative. Becky will be performing before and during the walk.

You can sign up for the walk at www.andrewjonesmp.co.uk and click on ‘Memory Walk’ or by calling my constituency office on 01423 529614.

We can also send you sponsorship forms or you can download one from my website also in the Memory Walk section.

You can also donate at www.justgiving.com/hgtmemorywalk2017 or text ‘HGMW77 £10’ to 70070.

To donate by cheque please make it payable to ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ and hand it in at the walk or send it to 57 East Parade, Harrogate, HG1 5LQ.

In the UK, around 225,000 will develop dementia this year – that’s one person every three minutes. 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia.

In less than 10 years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to two million people by 2051.

The Alzheimer’s Society and Harrogate Borough Council are supporting the walk. Council Leader, Cllr Richard Cooper will be representing Harrogate Council on the walk and backing this initiative.

Our voluntary efforts supplement the extra resource going into dementia care and research. The Government has already invested £50 million in making care homes and hospitals dementia friendly. 

More than 50,000 NHS staff have been trained to help with dementia.  Opportunities for this training for the rest of NHS staff will be available by 2018.

Dementia research funding doubled over the last Parliament and will total £300 million by 2020.