Walkers step out to raise awareness of dementia
More than 5o people, including some living with dementia, did circuits of the Fraser Park football pitch for this year’s Memory Walk.
The event is part of Alzheimer Scotland’s campaign to raise awareness of dementia and to encourage people to be more open about the disease.
Walks will take place all over Scotland but to give the event a Shetland twist 182 cones had been laid out on the pitch in Scalloway to mark the circuit walkers should follow. Each cone represented one of the 182 people living in the isles who have been diagnosed with dementia.
Alzheimer Scotland’s dementia adviser, Ann Williamson, said: “It’s not just about fundraising and young people, it is about families coming and participating. We’re really happy there were a number of people [with a dementia diagnosis] who came.”
And she said many of those who attended had their personal reasons for doing so. “I think everybody here has a family member that lives with dementia or in the past has dealt with dementia.”
This was the second year the memory walk has been held at Fraser Park, because it is known that some of those who have dementia are former footballers. Ms Williamson hopes it becomes an annual event and that it encourages openness about the disease.
“The more we can get people speaking about dementia and asking questions the easier it is for the community to support people with dementia.”
Community activities organiser Laura Whittall said it was pleasing to so many families, from grandparents to grandchildren, taking part. She said that was what the organisers in Shetland wanted to achieve.
“This is about the inclusiveness of people with dementia.”
• More in this week’s Shetland Times.