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My 50 mile walk for Dementia UK in June

My 50 mile walk for Dementia UK in June

Well, I went and did it.

I walked 50 miles in June for Dementia UK. It was tough at times with my arthritic knees, and my calves started to hurt.

I completed my 50 miles by June 11th, 19 days early. Staff and residents of Gascoigne House watched me cross the finish line and walk past the tape.

Thanks to Laura and Sam (staff) at Gascoigne House, I stopped half a mile from the end of the course to find a ribbon and then went on to complete my 50 miles, cheered on by staff and locals.

I walked at least half of the 50 miles through the gardens and hall of Gascoigne House.

The circular garden route is 10 laps to a mile. I think the locals, and the HCA, asked me what I was doing walking all those laps. When I told them, some of them were very happy to sponsor me.

Laura and I at the Walk and Men’s Mental Health Week

When Laura told me it was Men’s Mental Health Week a few days before, I decided I would go all out and complete my 80km that week.

So, as I said before, I’ve completed my 50 miles. I’ve walked 100 miles by June 30th. A lot of that was due to walking a lot on my holiday in Blackpool. Even then, I had to slow down towards the end of my holiday due to the heat.

Thank you to the staff and residents of Gascoigne House, friends and Friends of Dementia Café, Monday Club. You raised an incredible £237 in donations.

This includes money given to me and added to sponsorship forms and online.

You have not just filled out one donation form, but three. Thank you very much indeed. Cheque sent today to Dementia UK.

Me during a 50 mile hike

The money will go to Admiral Nurses for one-to-one support for people with dementia and their families. I don’t think it will be long before I need them too.

Up until two weeks ago, I didn’t think I would be able to reach 50 miles in June, let alone 100 miles by June 30th.

The kilometers I walked were verified by Map My Walk and Samsung’s walk checker.

During my hiking days, I had a mental breakdown (nothing to do with the hike). The reason I can’t give here is personal reasons, but other things went through my head and, as I said, I had a breakdown.

I am not sleeping at all, I am worried about my health, my dementia is getting worse. I am not getting results on my cardiac ECG, which the paramedics did and showed a defect (I now have the results). I am also in a lot of pain.

I tried to make an appointment at my office, but I couldn’t get through to a doctor.

I told Laura (a Gascoigne House employee) about my mental health problem.

Gascoigne House, where I live

On his morning rounds to see me, he sat me down and called my office. Within seconds I had two phone calls for appointments, one with a GP and one with a private doctor, two days later with a face-to-face appointment. The GP prescribed me antidepressants. The GP was worried that things were so bad that I would try to take my own life as I had done with a prescription drug overdose 12 years ago.

Thank you, Laura, so much for all your help. I hope you enjoyed your flowers.

I have to wait a few months for a consultant referral, but I’m fine with that.

I will continue my voluntary work for as long as I can. This includes reporting for South Leeds Life. I will still be covering events at Gascoigne House for South Leeds Life and at the News Café on the first Thursday of the month.

I help run the Memory Café at the Monday Club in Rothwell and the one I started five years ago at Middleton Elderly Aid.

I will also continue as a marshal and photographer for Middleton Woods Parkrun.

Ultimately, the best decision I made was to move to Gascoigne House. Where every day there is something new to get involved in. Long may it continue like this.

On the 4th of July, they have special food at the Bistro, and we have an Elvis impersonator in the afternoon. That’s for Independence Day. I need to get out my Blue Suede shoes!

On my 50 mile walk around Gascoigne House. Don’t worry, I had the whole month of June to do it

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