Our friend Anna Milton Lewis has completed an 89 mile walk in memory of her dad.
Douglas, who spent 18 months living with us, loved the countryside of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. He spent many happy years in the area, exploring with his wife, Mary.
Douglas passed away at the age of 89 in February of this year.
Anna planned the walk to raise £890 for The Alzheimer’s Society and to revisit the local spots her dad loved so much.
“As a young couple, Dad and Mum used to cycle all over,” remembered Anna. “He found this area very beautiful and has such lovely memories of particularly Dimmingsdale and Alton where he lived for a while.
“I wanted this walk to connect the places in which he lived, loved, laughed and ultimately died. I followed memories and stories told before vascular dementia took its toll.”
Anna’s first stop was at Barrowhill Hall, 15 miles into her walk. It was wonderful to see her and offer her a well-earned rest before she set off again.
“He loved the view from the home,” said Anna. “He would sit with his binoculars and watch the birds, animals and admire the countryside.”
Anna’s route then took her through Alton, Oakamoor, Waterhouses, Bakewell, Chatsworth, Matlock and Carsington.
She completed her walk at the top of Thorpe Cloud with her mother and members of her family down below at Dovedale.
“I then decided to walk home from Dovedale as a personal challenge for myself,” said Anna. “This was very very hard going (23miles!) but I walked in my kitchen door 120 miles after I had left it!”
She smashed her fundraising target by raising almost £2,500.
“My father loved being out in the countryside. My hope is the money I raise will help people like him to continue to enjoy the benefits of the wonderful outdoors, where lost memories don’t matter because the distractions of the ‘here and now’ are just too great.”
A huge ‘congratulations!’ and a well-earned rest are due for our team of staff who completed a five mile climb up Mount Snowdon to raise money for families living with dementia.
The four staff made the near 250 mile round trip to north Wales on Saturday 15th September. They took two and a half hours to reach the 1,000m peak.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month and the staff organised their ‘Memory Walk’ in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. Barrowhill Hall is home to 74 residents, many of whom are living with dementia.
Our activity co-ordinators Val Barnes and Becky Dalton, and carers Amy Farrell and Becky Buckley, took part in the climb
“It was a fantastic if exhausting day,” said Val. “We weren’t sure if we’d be able to do it but we were thrilled to get to the top!
“We’re so passionate about the work that we do and we wanted to show that by completing this challenge.”
The team also comprised Ann Parker and Michele Millward, teachers from Abbotsholme School in Rocester. Children from the school visit us every Monday to spend time playing and chatting with residents.
“Our little ones have gained a great deal of understanding about dementia over the last few months, and so have we,” said Ann. “We were very keen to support Barrowhill’s fundraising and the support they show for families living with dementia – even when they’re not at work!
“The climb was amazing and we’re so glad we were part of it.”