19th May 2020

Alzheimer's Support's Virtual Walk to Remember showed off the imagination and ingenuity of fundraisers as they walked, climbed, ran and danced to support people living with dementia in Wiltshire.

The virtual 'anything goes' challenge replaced the charity's annual organised Walk to Remember and has raised more than £7,500 with sponsorship still coming in. 

Dancing and cycling for dementia

Claire Mitchell and her family completed a 12-hour danceathon at their Chippenham home. They also got their whole street dancing with them at the end of the day and raised more than £1,000. Claire’s husband, Mark, then went on to do a night shift at the RUH where he works as a paediatric sister.

George Slater, 19, raised nearly £1,000 by cycling 40 miles across Salisbury Plain and back to deliver a newspaper to his grandparents in Potterne.

He said: “I’ve been on furlough from my job since lockdown started and have been going out on my bike racking up the miles, so thought I would do it for a good cause instead. My granddad was so happy to see me and the paper, he’d even spray painted a sign. I didn’t know about that and it was so nice to see it as I came down the hill towards them. The most I’ve ever cycled is 15-20 miles so my legs ached a bit the next day!”

Steph Bardzil and her family spent the week climbing the equivalent height of Mount Kilimanjaro up the stairs, raising more than £300. This worked out at 70 flights a day for all four of them for seven days - a challenge that left them fitter but the stair carpet worse for wear!

Casey Tanner, whose great grandmother lives with dementia, was just one of number of pupils from Holbrook School in Trowbridge who took part, raising £320. Casey created her personal triathlon challenge which involved 10 laps of the block on her bike, followed by five laps of skipping, then five laps of jogging/walking.

The school has a close relationship with the Wiltshire charity and pupils were regular visitors of its Mill Street Club. Other pupils completed walks and cycling challenges raising another £340 to date. 

Walking around Wiltshire to raise funds for dementia

Babs Harris, Alzheimer’s Support CEO, walked 150 miles in 24 days, averaging over six miles a day, raising £839 so far. Babs, who finished her challenge at Avebury on Saturday, said: “I walked the miles that lie between our community group locations every day, from my home in Bremhill. It’s quite isolated around here so perfect for socially distanced exercise!”

One extended family did their walks in various parts of the county and abroad. Kate Sharpe, her husband and children did an eight-mile walk at Huish Hill near Pewsey, her parents did a five-mile walk at Clouts Wood near Wroughton; her sister and family took a four-mile walk along the beach near Haarlem in the Netherlands and her aunt walked around her garden 25 times and up and down her stairs 25 times.

In addition, Vicki Guy completed 8.5 miles of dance workouts; Julie Poulsen walked around her neighbourhood, raising £100; Rebecca Matthews arranged an online fitness session which raised £400; Rachel Fear and her family hosted a virtual bootcamp and Kirsty and Ewan Blair took advantage of easing lockdown restrictions to complete a ten-mile walk around the Cotswolds.

Babs said: “We were so impressed by the imagination and ingenuity of our virtual walkers this year and their dedication in helping us at such a difficult time.

"The Covid-19 virus has hit our services particularly hard, so we’re really grateful that so many people, stepped up, stepped down and boogied around to raise vital funds for us. Thank you one and all!”


Fundraising at Alzheimer's Support