In pictures: Vicky Pattison join fundraisers at Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk in South Shields

Thousands of people walked to remember – or pay tribute to – a loved one with dementia.

TV star Vicky Pattison joined more than 1,600 walkers in South Shields on Saturday in memory of her grandad who died with dementia.

The Queen of the Jungle cut the ribbon to get Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk officially underway.

The scenic coastal walk is estimated to have raised over £86K providing help and hope to everyone living with dementia.

Vicky has previously supported Alzheimer’s Society by taking part in an epic 26-mile trek around Stonehenge last year.

She said: “It’s been such an incredible privilege to be take part in another Alzheimer’s Society event by bringing my support to Memory Walk today. Every pound raised through these events helps improve the lives of everyone living with dementia, both now and in the future.

“I walked in memory of my lovely grandad David, who passed away from dementia last year. It was such a moving experience to be surrounded by so many other people and families who have been devastated by dementia.   

“There are 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and thousands more families impacted. These events are such an amazing opportunity to help Alzheimer’s Society raise funds towards vital research, faster diagnosis, and support services that are so crucial to each and every one of those people.” 

Money raised from the family-friendly sponsored walks will go towards funding crucial research and supporting people living with dementia through some of the hardest and most frightening times.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with one in three people born in the UK today going on to develop the condition in their lifetime. There are more than 39,000 people living with dementia across the North East alone.

Helen Mayne, Regional Manager for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It has been incredibly powerful to see so many people coming together at Bents Park, South Shields today.

“Every step taken will make such a difference to people living with dementia and their families. No one should face dementia alone.

“Memory Walks are a brilliant opportunity to gather your support network to celebrate and remember all those who have been devastated by dementia, helping us raise funds towards vital research, faster diagnosis, and support services which are so crucial to so many.

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