Sisters take on Weston walk in father’s memory
- Credit: Wendy Bright/Alzheimer’s Society
Two Weston sisters are set to conquer a walking challenge to raise vital funds for a leading dementia charity.
Wendy Bright, aged 47, alongside her younger sister, Hannah, will set off on their journey past landmarks which defined their childhood while growing up in Weston, as well as pass homes where their father lived in the area, to support the Alzheimer’s Society next month.
The sisters will embark on the Memory Walk in honour of their father, Richard Birtill, who died of dementia in 2019.
Wendy said: “Dad was always very sharp, and you could see how frustrated he was getting with himself sometimes. It is cruel and heart-wrenching to watch the disease progress. But I always maintained that while dad’s memories of us were fading, his love for us never did.
“Dad often took us to the beach as children, so we’re going to start our walk there. We will then head to The Tropicana, which was once an outdoor swimming pool and pleasure park. As kids, we had a season ticket and dad dropped us there at the weekends, so that brings back a lot of happy memories for us.
“We’ll also head down to the other end of the beach, where, when dad was well, he’d drive and read his paper enjoying the sea view, before walking past the homes our dad had lived in, smiling as we remember him. Memories are precious, and we will hold onto them forever.”
The Alzheimer’s Society's South West spokesman Marion Child, said people affected by dementia need the charity ‘now more than ever’, adding that the pandemic has also hit the cause hard financially, despite 'unprecedented demand' for services.
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She said: “We want to thank Wendy and everyone taking part in a Memory Walk for us across Somerset.
“Money raised will help Alzheimer’s Society reach and support more people through our vital services, like our Dementia Connect support line, which has been used almost three million times in the UK since March 2020.
“We are in awe of the resilience of supporters like Wendy, whose dedication to fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society ensures that we are able to support those who need it most during this difficult period.”
To support Wendy and her sister Hannah’s walk, log on to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mw569367