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.”