From 9th -13th May, Age UK Tameside’s Chief Officer, Bernadette Ashcroft, will be walking to and from work to raise awareness of dementia and promote physical activity. Bernadette’s efforts will kick-start Age UK Tameside’s Dementia Garden Fund, where the charity hopes to raise money for a Dementia Garden at their Independent Living Centre in Ashton-under-Lyne. Bernadette’s epic, blister-inducing walk will total nearly 100 miles over the week, an average of around 7 hours walking each day.
“I’m keen to get my walking shoes on to do my part to help raise awareness of dementia,” explains Bernadette. “Working for Age UK Tameside, I see on a daily basis how dementia affects our loved ones. My Walk to Work Week is me playing my part to get people talking about dementia and start raising funds for a beautiful Dementia Garden that helps all the people we support – regardless of ability – to enjoy the outdoors and stay active and well for longer."
The Dementia Garden will embrace dementia-friendly design principles such as ensuring the garden feels enclosed and safe, is easily accessible so people can come and go independently, includes plenty of covered shelter and places to sit down to rest, and a layout that takes people on a journey around the garden with plenty of sensory and interesting visual features along the way. The overall fundraising goal is £15,000.
Bernadette adds, “I’m also keen to highlight the importance of physical activity and staying healthy. Currently 33% of adults in Tameside are classed as ‘inactive,’ which has a range of health implications that continue into later life. Prevention is better than cure, and walking is a great place to start. And with so many fantastic parks and trails in Tameside, there’s a walk for almost everyone.”
Bernadette’s Walk to Work Week will lead into Dementia Awareness Week (15th – 21st May). Age UK Tameside are passionate about raising awareness of dementia and how best to support individuals and families affected by it. The charity has planned a range of activities for the whole community during Dementia Awareness Week - click here for details.
The community can support Bernadette’s Walk to Work Week and make donations to the charity’s Dementia Garden Fund by clicking here or texting ‘AUKT01 £3’ to 70070.