Woodside's dementia walkers raising funds and awareness
The staff at a Burnley residential care home have walked 10 miles to raise funds for their residents with dementia and to raise awareness of the disease, which affects 850,000 people in the UK alone.
A group of 12 charitable members of staff at Woodside, on Burnley Road in Padiham, trekked from the care home to Towneley and back on Sunday, August 20th, carrying collection buckets and chatting to passers-by as they went.
Val Smith, assistant manager and dementia champion at Woodside, explained that the idea for the walk came from the staff's desire to do something special on behalf of the 46 residents, 10 of whom have dementia.
"It was all for our residents," Val explained. "It was a really great day, and as soon as people found out that we were doing it for dementia, they were on board. It's a cruel disease, and we want to do as much as we can.
"It's about raising awareness," Val added. "It was really positive. Everybody knows somebody who's got dementia."
With friends and family of the staff on the walk donating generously to the cause, Val thanked Jodie Forrest - who she called a "special girl" - for her help with organising the event and for coming along on the walk as well.
"It was a brilliant walk, we had chats along the way and had a really good laugh," Val said. "On the way back we stopped for cake and tea at one of the girls' house - Kim Kershaw. We just want to thank everyone for their support.
"Everybody who went on the walk said it didn't feel like 10 miles, and the weather was perfect," Val continued. "We took wheelchairs to represent the residents - they didn't want to do 10 miles themselves but they were really happy we'd done it for them!"
With over £500 raised so far thanks to the generosity of the likes of the staff at Motorpoint Burnley, whom Val thanked for their kind donations, the event was a massive success, with Woodside staff hoping to make it an annual tradition.
"It's exceeded expectations," Val said. "Any event like this is really close to my heart as dementia champion, so it was absolutely amazing and it makes a massive difference."