HAPPIER TIMES: Emma McBride in 2008 with her father Grant, after whom the September 8 Memory Walk to raise awareness and funds for dementia has been named.
HAPPIER TIMES: Emma McBride in 2008 with her father Grant, after whom the September 8 Memory Walk to raise awareness and funds for dementia has been named. Peter Clark

Take a Memory Walk to fight dementia

HAVING lost both her father and grandmother to dementia, Emma McBride made a promise to her mother to do "everything I could to help people living with dementia and those who care for them".

The Member for Dobell's latest step in that commitment is to host the Grant McBride Memory Walk at Long Jetty on Saturday, September 8, to raise awareness and funds for Dementia Australia.

It is, of course, named in honour of her father, the long-serving former Member for the Entrance (1992-2011), who died in February, at 68, after living with younger onset dementia for over five years.

And with distances from 1-7km, and costing from just $10 for Seniors aged 60-plus, it's something that Emma believes everyone can join in and help to make a difference through.

Emma is patron of the newly formed Central Coast Dementia Alliance, which works to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and support people living with dementia, and their carers.

Last year she also organised the Walk in My Shoes Carers Conference, and regularly highlights in parliament the needs of her older constituents, recently hosting Federal Labor's Medicare Taskforce for a roundtable on aged care and dementia at The Entrance.

"On the Coast we have about 6000 people living with dementia, and that number is expected to reach 14,000 by 2050," Emma said.

"Dementia affects those living with it, as well as their carers, family and friends.

"Memory Walks started in 2004, and now bring together tens of thousands of people each year."

As we live longer, the number of people living (and dying) with dementia is growing - 425,000 have been diagnosed nationwide, with nearly 300,000 carers - so the disease is touching more and more of our lives.

With one in five Coast residents aged over 65, Emma hopes everyone with an interest in positive ageing will take part in the Grant McBride Walk by running, walking, sponsoring or donating.

The event starts at 10am at Saltwater Creek Park, Tuggerah Pde, Long Jetty, where it will also finish.

Bring along a picnic, or enjoy the sausage sizzle for a small price.

You can choose a 7km route to Picnic Point, The Entrance and back, 4km to Long Jetty and back or the 1km course for those with kids or limited mobility.

Participants are encouraged to gain sponsors, and bring along family, friends, even your dog ($5). To register or donate go to memorywalk.com.au/events/77/emma-mcbride.


Fundraising Tips


Social media - Everyone loves to read about good people doing good things, so don't be shy; spread the word that you are taking part.


Set a goal and update how you are going - Statistics show that fundraising pages with targets raise 46% more.


Get creative -Tell your friends that if you raise $500, you'll run the course in a clown costume, or whatever will get them hooked.


Email and posters - For those who don't have Facebook and to let people at work or clubs know what you are doing, try some old-fashioned communication.


Match dollars - Some employers, clubs, groups or even friends will match dollar for dollar what you make in your other fundraising.

Ideas courtesy Dementia Australia.

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