Merrion Square in Dublin was awash with Ireland’s celebrities this morning, including leading business entrepreneurs Pamela Laird and Ellen Kavanagh Jones, Comedian Neil Delamere, TV personality Martin King, Actor Bryan Murray, and Miss Cork Rachel O’Leary. The impressive group gathered to launch the Alzheimer’s Annual Memory Walk, which takes place at 30 locations across Ireland on Sunday, 24th September 2023. The nationwide event gives families, friends and those living with dementia the opportunity to come together, honour, celebrate and raise funds for the vital support services that The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provides.
The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk is a family-friendly event suitable for all ages and walking abilities to unite friends, families and communities to raise awareness and funds for dementia supports. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is aiming to secure over 3,000 walkers across Ireland to participate and help raise funds for vital services that support so many people living with dementia and those who care for them. These services include Daycare, Daycare at Home, Family Carer Training, Social Clubs, Cafés, and a National Helpline.
An estimated 16,967people live with dementia in Dublin, and 64,000 people live with dementia in Ireland which will more than double in the next 25 years to over 150,000 by 2045.
Members of the public can sign up now to participate in the 2023 Alzheimer’s Memory Walk on Sunday, 24th September 2023 at www.memorywalk.ie. Registrations cost €5 for kids and €18 for adults and include a participation pack with a Memory Walk t-shirt. The closing date for registrations to receive your participation pack before the walk is 12noon on Wednesday, 20th September. For those who cannot walk on the day, they can still support the Memory Walk by donating at www.Alzheimer.ie.
Speaking about the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, Pamela Laird said, “I am thrilled to be returning as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk once again this year. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland carries out remarkable work nationwide, and my family has personally used their supports during my father’s journey with dementia. It is crucial for the ASI to continue fundraising to sustain their valuable services. Having witnessed firsthand the impact of my father’s dementia diagnosis, I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by numerous families in Ireland—feelings of confusion, sadness, and isolation. I am determined to shine a spotlight on dementia as it urgently requires our attention.”
Speaking about her support for the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, entrepreneur Ellen Kavanagh Jones said,”My darling mam, Kit, has Lewy Bodies Dementia. I know firsthand how difficult and frightening it is for both the person affected but also their family members. I myself have called the National Helpline when I was trying to navigate a very difficult time as my mam’s carer. It was a life-changing, supportive person that I spoke to that day and I am forever grateful to them. I’d like to pay it back now and raise awareness for the society and helpline that helped me.”
TV personality Martin King also commented, “I am delighted to be a part of Alzheimer’s Memory Walk this year – it’s a terrific way to raise awareness and raise vital funds for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland during World Alzheimer’s Month in September. Through my own mother’s journey with dementia I got a look at how tough it can be for families and they really need so much support. My Mam Christina was a beautiful soul, she was very caring and loving. She was a great mam and a great grand mam and then dementia came knocking at the door and she was in denial because she was afraid. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are called the long goodbye for a reason. You can’t stop it as it’s happening and it’s emotionally very painful to go through. I’m really looking forward to taking part in Alzheimer’s Memory Walk on Sunday, September 24th. I would encourage everyone to do the same.”
Mairéad Dillon, Head of Fundraising for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland commented, “The Alzheimer’s Memory Walk for 2023 is set to be our biggest and best to date and the number of ambassadors, staff, and local champions gathered at today’s launch is testament to that. I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to our partners Payzone who are supporting the event and are in attendance today. With over 30 locations nationwide, there will be a Memory Walk in your locality, and it is the ideal event for the whole family to get together and walk to remember or support a loved one living with dementia. We are really looking forward to September 24th this year to get people together supporting people with dementia.”
Michele Ann Kelly, Payzone Ireland, said, “Payzone is honoured to support the Memory Walk, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s flagship event. This campaign is important to us, as it is to many. Every day in Ireland, 30 people develop dementia, while over 64,000 people currently live with dementia. Unfortunately, many at Payzone have first-hand experience of the effects that Alzheimer’s can have on families and loved ones, a reason The Alzheimer Society of Ireland was voted as one of Payzone’s charity partners by our employees. We hope to support this wonderful event as best we can to play a small part as The Alzheimer Society of Ireland continues to provide vital dementia-specific services. Funds raised from the Memory Walk will help to keep these services going. The team at Payzone are excited to come together this September, honour and celebrate those with dementia, and raise much-needed funds for continued support. We encourage everyone in Ireland to join in on this great cause.”