Vicky McClure Walks for Dementia Support

A survey by the charity Alzheimer’s Society reveals 88% of people affected by dementia have not contacted a dementia charity for support. Now BAFTA award-winning actor and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Vicky McClure MBE, is taking part in this year’s Nottingham Memory Walk to raise awareness of the condition.

People living with dementia in the UK are being encouraged to reach out for support by Alzheimer’s Society, after a new survey found 88% of people affected by the condition have not sought help from a charity.

Around one million people are living with dementia in the UK and the charity says thousands of people are facing the realities alone, without access to vital support.

Alzheimer’s Society provides help and advice for anyone affected by dementia through its support line, online and print information, expert dementia advisers and online community. 94% of people who used the charity’s services said they received useful information. 95% said their Dementia Adviser understood their needs, while 83% felt more capable of managing and felt less isolated.

To help fund its dementia support services and research, the charity is hosting 26 Memory Walks across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is encouraging people to register to take part.


Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer for Alzheimer’s Society said: “No one should face dementia alone. Alzheimer’s Society is here for everyone affected by dementia through our support services which people tell us are a lifeline. From a listening ear on the phone to a visit in person and opportunities to connect with others, we’ll be there for you again and again and again, no matter what.

“One in three people born in the UK today will develop dementia in their lifetime which is why we need to turn the tide this devastating condition. Memory Walk is such a special event in our calendar, bringing thousands of people together to walk in memory or in celebration of loved ones. Every pound raised will make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia, funding vital support and groundbreaking research. Join us and sign up to Memory Walk today.”

Abigail Kelly aged 23 from Pontefract is taking part in the Leeds Memory Walk in memory of her grandmother, Margaret, who died in March this year aged 76, and said: “When I was little, my parents both worked full time, so it was my grandmother (Nannan) who took me to school and picked me up. We were so close all my life.

“Nannan was a keen follower of horse racing and a frequent race goer at the nearby Pontefract course. When her interest started to wane, and she didn’t even want to watch the racing on TV on Saturdays that the family started to wonder if something was wrong.

“Her writing deteriorated so much that she couldn’t fill in her betting slips. We went to the GP and were referred for a brain scan which came back as normal. She was eventually diagnosed with mixed dementia, aged 75. From that point she seemed to just drop off a cliff and went downhill very fast. I found that quite hard. It was difficult to get help.

Abigail and her Nannan

“I was searching for something suitable to buy Nannan for Christmas when I came across an Alzheimer’s Society article with some helpful ideas. From there I went to the charity’s website where I saw a link to the Dementia Support Forum. I found a lot of comfort on there.

“I posted a comment titled ‘Grief before loss’ because it’s really hard to grieve for someone who is still alive, and it was so helpful to hear back from people saying ‘I’ve been through this too – I understand.’ I’d just sit there and type and cry and let it all out. It felt like a really safe place. I never felt judged. Everyone was so welcoming and warm and accepting. The forum members really validated my feelings – they’d say ‘that’s ok, that’s normal to feel like that’.

“I wanted to raise some more and make something good out of all the grief and the loss, so I’m doing Memory Walk. I wish more people knew and recognised the early signs of dementia and that more people knew about the help that’s available.”


BAFTA award-winning actor and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, Vicky McClure MBE, is looking forward to taking part in this year’s Nottingham Memory Walk. It will be the star’s 13th Memory Walk.

Vicky said: “I walk in memory of my greatly missed Nana, Iris, who we lost to dementia in 2015 and also in support of the wonderful singers & carers of Our Dementia Choir past & present who are a source of constant joy and inspiration.

“I always look forward to Memory Walk as the atmosphere is like nothing else. There is so much love in the air and you can’t help but feel lifted up by it. Caring for someone with dementia is really, really hard and yet, on the day, families and carers are able to feel surrounded by others who understand and totally ‘get it’.

Vicky will again be taking part in the Wollaton Park Memory Walk in Nottingham and is encouraging people affected by dementia to sign up for the nearest walk in their area:

“Memory Walk is so worth doing – it’s about raising money for Alzheimer’s Society’s services that are such a lifeline for people living with dementia and their carers, and for research that will, one day, hopefully bring an end to this devastating illness. But it’s also about raising awareness and stamping out any stigma around this disease, which affects a million people in the UK. And of course, you’ll have a great day! You’ll laugh and you’ll cry a little and you’ll feel totally validated and included – it’s just brilliant!”

This Autumn, join your nearest Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk or organise your own and help to end the devastation caused by dementia. Sign up for free at

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