OLDHAM East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams has teamed up again with the council to arrange the annual Oldham and Saddleworth Memory Walk in Alexandra Park on Saturday, September 25, writes Kent Lawlor.

The walk, which is free, will last about an hour, starting at the Boathouse Cafe at 10.15am and will include a guided tour and talk about the history of the award-winning park.

The walk looks to raise awareness about dementia as part of Mrs Abrahams campaign to develop a Dementia Friendly Oldham.

Ms Abrahams said: "The idea is to help local people, not just to remember their loved ones, but also encourage more people to be active in helping prevent dementia whilst improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia.

“If we raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society as a result of this, that’s a fantastic bonus especially given that Covid has really affected their fundraising over the last 18 months or so.

"I look forward to welcoming you all on the day!”

Ms Abrahams is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dementia and was the first MP to become an Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Friends Champion.

Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia and that 225,000 people will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes.

Cabinet member for health and social care at the caouncil, Cllr Zahid Chauhan, said: “It’s great to be collaborating with Debbie again on this year’s memory walk to raise awareness of dementia.

“As Oldham Cares, we’re working together with partners to identify what is working well here and what we can improve for local people living with dementia. This includes minimising the risk of developing dementia, providing a timely and accurate diagnosis and care plan and supporting people to access high quality health and social care which enables everyone to be included in our community."

The total cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7billion which is the equivalent of more than £40,000 per person with dementia.

Sue Clarke, Alzheimer’s Society Greater Manchester Area Manager said: “This last year has been devastating for people living in Greater Manchester with dementia, their carers and their families."

“Many sadly passed away, and many more have got so much worse, while isolated from those they love and unable to continue their usual daily activities and routines. As a result, our services have never been needed more.”

To register for the memory walk, click here.