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TV presenter Siân Welby leads charity event to help researchers find a cure for dementia

TV and radio presenter Siân Welby joined hundreds of others at a charity walk to raise vital funds for dementia research - having seen first-hand the impact of the condition.

Lifestyle

TV presenter Siân Welby leads charity event to help researchers find a cure for dementia

 Siân took part in Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Walk For A Cure in Kensington Gardens today…

TV and radio presenter Siân Welby joined hundreds of others at a charity walk to raise vital funds for dementia research – having seen first-hand the impact of the condition. Siân attended Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Walk For A Cure event at Kensington Gardens, London, earlier today (Saturday 8 June).

She led the countdown to start off the event on Saturday morning and then joined her fiancé Jake Beckett and over 250 walkers as they crossed the start line for the 5km walk.

Taking part in Walk For A Cure was important to Siân as the cause is close to her heart with her own dad, Ian, being diagnosed with vascular dementia in his early 80s. She shared how the condition is impacting him and their family.

The 37-year-old said: “I think what has changed for my dad the most is his loss of independence. He was such a practical man, he could do everything but we started noticing him struggling with problem solving which meant he couldn’t do the things he used to. He relies on everybody a bit more now, which means he has not only lost his independence but also started to lose his purpose. It definitely gets him down.

“Before my dad got diagnosed with vascular dementia I didn’t know anything about the disease as it hadn’t affected anyone in the family so it was totally new to me. I think it is important people know about dementia and the diseases that cause it so we can support the scientists working to find answers and ultimately a cure for it.”

Because of her personal experience, the TV and radio host knows just how important it is to bring people together at these events and offer hope of a cure for dementia in the future. She added: “Today has been so important to me to walk in honour of my dad. Raising money to help find a cure is just so important as I just wouldn’t wish dementia on anyone.

“The day has been really lovely, seeing so many people of different ages and abilities come together for the same cause. I’m just so pleased I was able to be here today and support Alzheimer’s Research UK – it was great to chat to other walkers as we went round the park. It is such an inclusive and accessible event – I’d recommend Walk For A Cure to anyone!”

The day was also poignant for actor Tanya Franks. She took part in the event in memory of her step-dad Derek, who recently passed away with Alzheimer’s disease. Tanya has also previously run as part of Babs’ Army for Alzheimer’s Research UK in honour of Derek and also the late Dame Barbara Windsor.

The day was also poignant for actor Tanya Franks. She took part in the event in memory of her step-dad Derek, who recently passed away with Alzheimer’s disease.

Following Saturday’s walk, Tanya said:

I wanted to take part in Walk For A Cure in London today because I have just lost my stepfather to Alzheimer’s disease after an 11-year journey with him. Anything we can do to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK towards finding a cure will help to ensure in the future that other families don’t go through what we have been through.”

They were also joined by singer and actress Lyn Paul, The Only Way Is Essex and The Family Diaries star Suzie Wells, content creator Elle Adams and singing duo Max and Harvey, who all have personal experience of dementia. Thousands of people are taking part in Walk For A Cure this summer, at six locations across the UK. These 5km walks aim to bring together families impacted by dementia, alongside the researchers and scientists working hard to find a cure for the condition.

Following its successful launch in 2023, the Walk For A Cure series has doubled in size this year. The events are family-friendly, dementia-friendly, and accessible to all. Julia Sobik, Head of Sporting Events and Volunteering at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It was brilliant to kick-off this year’s Walk For A Cure series in London and at such an iconic venue. We are so grateful to Siân, Tanya, and all of our walkers who took part in Walk For A Cure in London today. This fantastic event brought together hundreds of people determined to help accelerate progress towards a cure for dementia, which can’t come soon enough.

“It was an emotional day for many but also one full of hope and positivity for the future thanks to the progress we are seeing in dementia research. If you missed out on London but would like to take part you can come and join us at one of our five other brilliant Walk For A Cure events this summer. Your support will help fund life-changing dementia research and will take us one step closer to ending the heartbreak this condition causes.”

The remaining Walk For A Cure dates and locations are:

  • 23 June 2024 – Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
  • 30 June 2024 – Southampton Common, Southampton
  • 7 July 2024 – Sefton Park, Liverpool
  • 14 July 2024 – Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
  • 21 July 2024 – Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff

To find out more and to sign up, visit: https://alzres.uk/WFAC-press

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