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Alzheimer Scotland has launched our annual new year campaign ‘Challenge Dementia’ which urges the nation to shake off the January blues and sign up to a sporting challenge in 2018 to support people living with dementia across Scotland.

With research suggesting that one person in the world develops dementia every three seconds, Scotland’s national dementia charity is calling on the public to take urgent action to support the increasing numbers of people living with dementia across Scotland by walking, running and cycling to raise vital funds. Every penny raised supports Alzheimer Scotland’s mission to help make sure nobody faces dementia alone.

Determined walker Ann Yourston, from Penicuik, has joined forces with Alzheimer Scotland to share why she will be honouring her parents’ memory in 2018. Taking on one of her biggest challenges to date, the 51-year-old housing officer – who lost both parents in 2001 – will fly out to China this October to take part in a Great Wall of China trek.

The challenge will see Ann, alongside her friend and colleague Ann Robertson, take part in the hiking adventure which covers a distance of 36km over 5 days to raise up to £3,000 for the cause. Ann, says: “My parents’ love story began in 1948 when they met at a dance and married the same year. Mum was a shorthand typist and dad was assistant manager at an engineering firm. I lost mum and dad to dementia three months apart in 2001. The illness turned our lives upside down; but you have no choice but to pick yourself back up and carry on. Dementia is scary and is still a bit of a taboo subject, but I am already seeing things improve. Yes, it is a horrible and progressive disease but there is now so much support available to help people live well with dementia so things are moving ahead positively.

“After completing the Petra trek challenge last year, I wanted to take on a bigger challenge in 2018 and decided upon the Great Wall of China. As well as all the health and fitness benefits which come with training for the challenge, we hope to raise as much as possible to help support dementia which is a cause so close to my heart.”

Anna Devine, Director of Fundraising and Marketing from Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge faced by Scotland today, whilst there is currently no cure, we can come together as a nation to help challenge dementia by getting active with friends, family and colleagues.

“We have a huge challenge facing us in 2018 to ensure that we meet our commitment as a national dementia charity to continue providing information, advice, support and engagement across the length and breadth of Scotland. Each week Alzheimer Scotland invests over £105,000 to maintain support and community activities including our 24hr Freephone Dementia Helpline, Dementia Resource Centres, Community Activity Organisers and a variety of projects that help make a big difference to the lives of people living with dementia and their families. Demand for our support is high so we really need people in Scotland to help raise funds. Let’s join Ann and spread the Alzheimer Scotland purple far and wide at Scotland’s biggest sporting events and overseas so together we can make sure that nobody faces dementia alone.”

Turn your New year’s resolution into a fresh new fitness challenge for the thousands of people living with dementia across Scotland today by visiting Alzheimer Scotland’s Challenge Dementia page or email: [email protected]