MORE than 240 people stepped out for Guild Care’s A Walk to Remember on Saturday.
The event, which included both a 5km and 10km challenge along Worthing promenade, raised more than £15,000 for the charity’s new drop-in service for people with dementia and their carers.
The total falls short of the original fundraising goal of £20,000, but Guild Care hopes additional sponsorship funds that are yet to come in will add up to enable it to open the drop-in service later this year.
People were running, walking or jogging for the Worthing-based charity, which opened the town’s first purpose-built community dementia care facilities, the Bradbury Wellbeing Centre, earlier this year.
The event was officially opened by Gill Fielding, star of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire and patron of Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce, who knows the debilitating effects of dementia all too well.
She was joined by Worthing mayor and mayoress Michael Donin and Linda Williams, and Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman.
Gill said: “My mum had dementia – it is terrible. With the loss of the person you know and love, it impacts carers just as much as the people living with the condition.
“Organisations like Guild Care are extraordinarily needed as we all grow older, the more support that is available, the better.
“I’m a local girl – I went to Sussex University and met my husband in Brighton. I had a fantastic time in Worthing at A Walk to Remember. It is heart-warming to see the time and effort that has gone into making the event such as success – from the runners and walkers, to the committed staff and volunteers who support the charity.”
Blessed with bright sunshine on a crisp October day, the walkers and runners enjoyed a seaside stroll, or sprint, along Worthing seafront.
Many took the opportunity to dress up, including a suitably spooky team dressed as witches from The Sandwitch Bar, in Rowlands Road, Worthing.
Event sponsors ETI Ltd made waves with a team of more than 22 employees, with Joe Heath pipping his colleague Myles Gibson to the post as first to cross the finishing line.
Lesley-Anne Lloyd, Guild Care’s director of fundraising, communications and marketing, said: “Thank you to each and every person who helped make A Walk to Remember possible.
“From our event sponsors, Jacobs Steel, Connect Catering, ETI Ltd and Red-Inc, to everyone who took part, sponsored a friend, or helped out on the day. We couldn’t have raised over £15,000 without your help.”
Guild Care’s new community day will support local people with a cognitive impairment or early-onset dementia, even if they have not been officially diagnosed.
Anyone will be able to drop into the centre for free information and advice from supportive staff. Guild Care also hopes to offer a range of activities, including art therapy, singing and gardening, giving carers a proper break from the responsibilities of full-time care.
To make a donation in support of Guild Care’s drop-in service for people with dementia, visit www.guildcare.org or call 01903 528613.
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