Law firm staff support Memory Walk

High spirits were tinged with sadness as staff from leading law firm Birkett Long joined thousands of walkers tackling the fundraising Memory Walk organised by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Eleven lawyers and admin staff from the firm’s Colchester and Chelmsford offices, many walking in memory of loved ones, tackled either the 1.5km or 6km route in support of Birkett Long’s charity of the year.

The Alzheimer’s Society, which supports those affected by dementia, organises Memory Walks across the UK, with the Essex event held at Hylands Park in Chelmsford on 17 September.

Head of the Colchester-based Court of Protection and Inheritance Disputes team Amanda Smallcombe was walking for her mum, with colleagues Jenny Bruce and Lisa Cox walking in memory of their grandmothers. They were joined by team members John Fawcett, Rachel Leech, Thomas Lee and Leah Woodnott.

Gaye Eason, Documents and Administration Manager at Birkett Long’s Colchester Office, who lost both her father and mother after diagnoses of dementia, walked the 1.5km route with her 80-year-old auntie, sister and Birkett Long friend and colleague Emma Purkiss.

Gaye said: “My nieces took part in the 6km walk, and my auntie said afterwards that she could have managed the longer one! It was the first time we have taken part in a Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s, there were almost 3,000 walkers taking part, along with lots of dogs.

“There was a brilliant atmosphere, with music and a Zumba warm up. My feelings were mixed, sad because of Mum - who died in March - and Dad, but proud to be taking part to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s.

“So far I have raised more than £250, with my sister and Emma also raising money I’m hoping we will reach around £500 in total. We also asked for donations for Alzheimer’s at Mum’s funeral and raised £550.”

Solicitor Katie Lockwood, who works in Birkett Long’s Commercial Real Estate team in Chelmsford completed the 6km walk with her husband and parents, and also hopes to have raised £500.

Katie explained: “My grandad was diagnosed with vascular dementia almost two years ago. Because of his various health conditions, he is unable to take any medication. It is heart-breaking to see someone you love change as a result of this illness, and the fact that there is nothing that can be done and that the decline is unpredictable makes you realise how easy it is to take things for granted.

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