The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Gemma’s passion to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s

The Save the Memories campaign was created in 2014 by Gemma Little as a result of her passion to turn her negative experience of Alzheimer’s into something positive and help others have a better experience.

Gemma lost her mother to Alzheimer’s at a young age and felt there was very little support and understanding of dementia, especially of early onset.

Gemma wanted to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Society and had proposed holding a coastal walk. A friend told her, ‘stop talking about it and start organising it’. That was the push she needed and Save the Memories was born.

A Save the Memories Facebook page was set up and the page has now attracted over 400 members worldwide.

l - r fundraiser Dominic Harris, Gemma, the Duchess of Northumberland and Alzheimers Society representative Amy Syron-Mallenby

l – r fundraiser Dominic Harris, Gemma, the Duchess of Northumberland and Alzheimers Society representative Amy Syron-Mallenby

The walk in 2014 attracted 42 participants, some with their dogs, and they walked the 14 miles from Craster along the beautiful coastal path to Amble where a buffet was waiting at Angie’s Tavern.

Among the other fundraising events was a charity night held at the Bede Street Club when The Britpop Union played to a packed crowd.

Gemma told The Ambler, “I am always honoured when people donate prizes or give up their time for free like The Britpop Union did.”

Alnwick Fire Station held a car wash, donating half of the funds raised to the Alzheimer’s Society. Gemma told us, “I got very wet attending this as I ended up doing the ice bucket challenge. It was very cold and very unplanned! If people would like a good laugh, there is a video on the Save the Memories Facebook page.”

Save the Memories encourages people to post their memories to Facebook and get their friends to do the same to help raise awareness and let people reminisce, something dementia takes away.

The 2015 walk attracted 85 walkers and 11 dogs, raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and a local project called The Blooming Well Project. Over the two years £13,368 has been raised for the cause.

Gemma said, “I never imagined what Save the Memories could achieve when I embarked on this journey, but it has been amazing and is continuing to be amazing every day.”

Save the Memories also aims to encourage as many people as possible to become Dementia Friends. For more information and the date of next year’s walk, see www.facebook.com/xsavethememoriesx

Puffin Lounge offers dementia awareness sessions

In our bid to make Amble a Dementia-Friendly Community there will be awareness sessions scheduled for February next year.

In the meantime why not drop in to the puffin lounge where we hold two hour long drop-in sessions every other Thursday, from 2-4pm. at St. Mark’s URC Hall.

Although it is primarily for people living with dementia, their family, carers and friends, anyone can come along.

Refreshments are provided; we play table-top games, chat, look at scenes of old Amble, we may even try some singing.

Come along and have some fun. Next date is Dec. 17.

Further details from Sue Swanston 01665 711177

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