• 5 April 2022

Putting our best paw forward for Dementia UK

Senior Structures Engineer from our team in London, Emily Wingrove, and her dog Fen joined Vicky Williams, a Principal EIA Consultant from our Infrastructure & Environment team in Manchester, together with her faithful hound Ted as they put their best paws forward for Dementia UK’s March Dog Walking Challenge.

Hundreds of people and their trusted canine companions across the country joined the virtual fundraiser to walk 100 km throughout the month, raising money towards the specialist support services that Dementia UK provides through their Admiral Nurses scheme.

When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere. They are a lifeline, helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.

Wanting to help in any way she could due to a personal connection with dementia in her own family, Emily began adding extra walks to her one-year-old, fox-red Labrador, Fen’s, schedule, proving that little and often is the key to success. Thanks to their efforts, she and Fen raised £285 For Dementia UK and definitely deserve a treat or two!

Looking back over what they’ve achieved, Emily said: “Aside from giving me a good reason to get out in the fresh air with Fen a little more often, some extra dog walks seemed like a nice way to raise a little bit of money for an important cause at the same time.”

Vicky shares a similar story after her Grandma lost her ten-year battle with dementia in 2015 at ‘93 years young’. She said: “My Grandma loved being outdoors, however as time and her condition progressed, she found herself increasingly reluctant to leave the house. I’ve often reflected on this during my walks with Ted, especially as we’re really fortunate to live somewhere with lovely countryside walks and can guarantee a chat with a fellow walker.”

Capitalising on longer walks at the weekend now she’s returned to the office full-time, Vicky took advantage of the sunnier weather to clock up their miles while her three-year old Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Ted, thoroughly enjoyed practising his scent tracking for any nearby rabbits and pheasants like a true terrier. Together they raised £680 for Dementia UK, and Vicky explains: “The challenges for us to support my Grandma as a family gradually increased over the years and in the last few months of her life we made the difficult decision to put her into a residential dementia home so she could have the specialist care she needed. At the time, we weren’t aware of the support that was available to families like ours, or that organisations like Dementia UK even existed. I’m hoping that the money raised for the Admiral Nurses will also help raise awareness of the vital services they provide to dementia patients and their loved ones.”

Commenting on the challenge, Vicky said: “Taking part in this challenge has been great because there’s been so much encouragement from other participants and those offering their support. For me, it was never about the distance – it was the cause. There is currently no cure for this cruel and indiscriminate condition and, until there is, sufferers need those all-important family and friends to be there for them, who in turn need to be supported to help them through such a difficult time.”

Congratulations to Emily and Vicky on their fantastic achievements!

To learn more about the services that Dementia UK offer, please click here.

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