Former Blackpool footballer Dave Serella unites with 2,800 people at Blackpool Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk

Anne Nolan, whose mother Maureen had dementia, and ex-Blackpool football player Dave Serella, who is living with dementia, cut the ribbon to open the walk (Photo: Chris Bull)
Anne Nolan, whose mother Maureen had dementia, and ex-Blackpool football player Dave Serella, who is living with dementia, cut the ribbon to open the walk (Photo: Chris Bull)
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Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Anne Nolan and Ex-Blackpool football player Dave Sellera today joined a tide of around 2,800 people to unite against dementia at Blackpool Memory Walk.

Both Anne, whose mother Maureen had dementia, and ex-Blackpool football player Dave Serella, who is living with dementia, cut the ribbon to open the walk.

Walkers throng the promenade as they head towards South Pier

Walkers throng the promenade as they head towards South Pier

Anne said: “I felt incredibly proud to attend the Blackpool Memory Walk again in memory of my mother Maureen, alongside so many others with a common goal of uniting against dementia.

“Memory Walks are a great opportunity for us all to join together, celebrate someone special, share experiences and unite against dementia. Supporting Memory Walk plays a vital part in

raising awareness of the condition and helps raise the much needed funds.“

Ex-Blackpool football player Dave Serella who jointly cut the ribbon with Anne and gave out medals to the walkers said: “I might have developed dementia but that won’t stop me trying to

Enjoying the warm-up Zumba session

Enjoying the warm-up Zumba session

kick it into touch. I have never shied away from a challenge and I don’t intend to do now I’m up against dementia. I might be a bit more forgetful than I used to be, but I’m still happily living life to the full with my lovely family.

“Cutting the ribbon with Anne Nolan and handing out medals to the walkers at my first Memory Walk even though I couldn’t walk it due to my dodgy knees was an absolute honour.”

Naomi Clitherow and her daughter Charlotte (14) from Lytham St Annes also united against dementia by taking on the walk in memory of Naomi’s granddad, ‘Wally’.

Naomi said: “Charlotte and I really enjoyed taking part in the Blackpool Memory Walk. We branded ourselves team ‘Heroes’ in honour of Grandad Wally’s life and for all others who have

2500 walkers gather before the start

2500 walkers gather before the start

lost their fight, or for families who are struggling at present with this challenging condition.”

Tara Edwards, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Lancashire said: “Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

“I am so glad that thousands of people from across Lancashire stepped out to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities.

A hug before setting off

A hug before setting off

“Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

“Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a brilliant success.”

A total of 40 flagship walks are taking place this month and next, or next, or people can organise one of their own. To find out more about the remaining walks and Your Walk, Your Way, go to memorywalk.org.uk.

The yearly fund-raiser set off from outside Blackpool Tower at 11am this morning, with some 2,500 participants laced up their walking to raise cash and celebrate memories of friends and families who might have lived with the disease.

Walkers had a choice of two routes; a shorter 2km walk turning around by Manchester Square tram stop, or the longer 7.5km walk continuing down the Promenade to the Mirror Ball, before returning to the event site.