FOURTEEN walkers of all ages joined Chris Bridges the Diamond Buses operations manager on Sunday morning for her eight mile Memory Walk around the No58 bus route in Redditch in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
The group set off from Redditch bus station at 10am, making it back just after 1pm after touching hearts along the way.
Redditch didn’t have an official Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s so Chris, who’s husband suffers from vascular dementia, organised and set up her own.
She said: “No one wants to talk about or even think about this illness.
“It’s a very lonely place for the spouse, partners and family, if someone said to me two years ago I would be fundraising for dementia because it’s affected my husband I would never have believed them.
“We might think if we hide from dementia it won’t affect us, but it’s not a choice, it’s cruel and incurable, it’s life changing, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or how much money you have.”
Chris had set herself a target of raising £500, which was soon smashed, as was her revised target of £800 – and the amount keeps rising.
She was joined by friends and family including Police Community Support Officers Anwar Mohammed and Adam Poole, and Councillor Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch’s Labour group who, she said, set a good pace.
“I was really made up that Bill came; it was a pleasant Sunday morning stroll although the walk up from Woodrow was tough and my legs were hurting, but it was worth it.”
Coun Hartnett said: “I have canvassed all over Redditch and ridden the No58 bus route many times but I have never walked it and on the way I learnt an awful lot about dementia and the effect it has on carers and victims.
“People were very generous too and it’s important to remember there are organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society which are out there so people do not need to suffer in silence with this dreadful illness.”
And Chris had a message for the keyboard warriors who had scorned her efforts and her role at Diamond Buses on social media: “Every time you write something nasty, donate some money to the cause.”
To boost Chris’s total visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mw339669.
The local contact for the Alzheimer’s Society is Kat Horner – email: [email protected] .