Nicole at the top of a munro

Alzheimer Scotland’s New Year fundraising campaign ‘Change Dementia’ is now live. Our campaign aims to help inspire you to help change dementia during our 40th anniversary year, by signing up to an event, or by raising vital funds locally to help support people living with dementia.

Alzheimer Scotland is calling on the public to take urgent action in 2020 to support the increasing numbers of people living with dementia across Scotland. Anyone can take part by taking on an ultimate challenge or by signing up to a sponsored run or zipline event, by taking part in a head shave or by holding a bake sale. There is something for everyone and all abilities.

Determined climber Nicole O’Rafferty from Hamilton, took on her challenge of a lifetime by bagging a ‘Munro a Month’ during 2019, all in memory of her grandad who lived with dementia until 2012. Raising £1650 (triple her original target) in the process, Nicole smashed her target of 12 Scottish Munros, by climbing 20 across the 12 months.

The secondary business studies teacher who climbed the Munros with her mum (Sharon O’Rafferty) by her side, said: “Grandad was diagnosed with dementia when I was 12-years-old and at the time I didn’t really understand the diagnosis and what he was going through. I remember fondly visiting grandad after school every day, he loved his garden and being outdoors and we would go out on lots of walks together. I know he would have been proud us and especially mum (his daughter) as she had also never done any hillwalking in her life before and powered up most of the Munros right beside me.

“The best thing about my Munro a Month challenge was achieving something new and finding a love for the mountains and Munro bagging. I really have never seen something as beautiful as Scotland from the peak of a mountain. I took on this challenge for myself, for my grandad, for my auntie Yvonne and for those out there who had maybe wanted to try Munro bagging but hadn’t felt confident enough to do so. I was a total beginner, so if I can do it, anyone can. Most importantly though, I did this challenge to help the thousands of people living with dementia in Scotland today. On a personal level, my mental and physical health has massively improved throughout the year. I now know what I can achieve with determination and hard work. I hope my fundraiser will inspire others to challenge themselves in 2020 and do something they’ve never done before to help change dementia.”

Sa Craig, Head of Corporate Partnerships and Events from Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We are all delighted for Nicole and overwhelmed by her sheer determination and dedication to walk up a Munro every month during 2019, to help raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland. With over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, it is our biggest health and social care challenge and it isn’t going to go away. We’re so grateful to Nicole for helping us to change dementia and to everyone who supported her fundraising efforts.

“In the 40 years since Alzheimer Scotland began its first activities in Scotland, demand for our local supports is as high as ever and we calling on the public to join us throughout 2020 to help spread the Alzheimer Scotland purple far and wide at sporting events and local fundraising activities and together we can make sure that nobody faces dementia alone.”

Join #TeamAlzscot in 2020 and together we can Change Dementia. Whether you’re taking on the ultimate challenge, starting 2020 with a New Year’s Resolution or looking for a fun way to fundraise, there is something for everyone to take part in. Click here for a full list of Alzheimer Scotland’s sponsored events or alternatively if you have your idea for a fundraising event our events fundraising team can support you, email [email protected].