Beloved Doncaster nanna inspires Memory Walk challenge

Claire Bance with her NanClaire Bance with her Nan
Claire Bance with her Nan
A woman who has seen the ‘soul-destroying’ decline of her beautiful nanna to dementia is donning her walking boots alongside her seven-year-old son, Kian, to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society next month.

Claire Bance has signed up to take part in Memory Walk to support her nanna Margaret, who lives in a care home in Stainforth, near Doncaster, and is encouraging others to do the same.

There are 19 Memory Walks which will be held across the UK this Autumn in locations including Leeds on September 25, and York and Clumber Park on October 3. Supporters can also opt to walk on their own, or with loved ones, in a location of their choosing throughout September.

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The 36-year-old florist, who lives in London, said: “It’s so hard to put into words the love I have for Nanna. From as early as I can remember she has held a huge place in my heart and always will. It’s nothing short of soul destroying seeing her struggle and trapped by this awful disease.

“As her memory slowly slips away from her, I find the best thing is to hold on tight to my most fond ones.

“From curling up on the sofa resting my head on her cold, soft arm; her heavy-handed hair washing and tugging the hair brush through my hair, stroking her perfectly soft hands (always a favourite pastime), those soft hands always dipping into her handbag to steal a sneaky Midget Gem or 10 on the sly, our midnight phone chats when I had some darker times: she’s always been a wonderful ear, and full of cheeky laughs when I needed them.

“She is a blooming gem, makes me laugh, forgets us all, but remembers I’m a florist on her birthday!

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“Nanna Margaret is, and always will be, a remarkably beautiful diamond in my heart, I’d do anything to help her or raise awareness for what she and so many others are going through, and for everyone who works tirelessly to ensure their comfort and security in their final chapters.”

Claire will join thousands of supporters stepping out across the country throughout September to support Alzheimer’s Society’s vital work and is encouraging others to join her by lacing up their boots to raise vitals funds for the charity.

Linda Haggie, Area Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Yorkshire, said: “This Autumn we are calling on family, friends and colleagues from across Yorkshire to put their best foot forward for Alzheimer’s Society.

“The last year has been tough for everyone, but for people living with dementia the impact of coronavirus has been catastrophic and every step our fundraisers take will make a huge difference by providing a lifeline for people affected by dementia who have been worst hit.”

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“We are in awe of amazing supporters like Claire whose fundraising efforts help fund our services which have been used over five and a half million times since the first lockdown began in March 2020, showing people need us now more than ever.”

Visit Memory Walk to find out more about organising your own Memory Walk or taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s organised events this Autumn.