Great community support, a great turnout and perfect weather all contributed to make yesterday's Memory Walk a success.

The event was organised by Alzheimers Manawatū, the Marion Kennedy Centre and Dannevirke Community Board and attracted walkers from a broad cross section of the community.

The march set off from the Town Hall carpark, continued along High St, turning into McPhee St, into the service lane behind the Town Hall, into Allardice St, back along High St and into the Town Hall where food and drinks were served.

Alzheimers Manawatū manager Donna Hedley said as always the support in Dannevirke was amazing with around 140 taking part in the Memory Walk which aims to raise awareness about dementia.


"Today is about reducing the stigma that surrounds dementia. It's a terrible disease that is made worse by the fact it was hidden in the dark."

The walk was about bringing dementia out into the light and getting people talking about it.

"We need to be talking about dementia so that our older people can live well with it."

Hedley said one of the most frequently heard comments was that a person with dementia was no longer the person they were.

She referred to a poster that had been put together by people with dementia and was on display in the Town Hall.

"One of the comments on the poster says 'I am still me'. Despite being disabled by dementia a person is still who they once were."

One of the walkers shared his seven-year journey with dementia in his role as his wife's carer.

"I was slowly losing her over those seven years. But she was a happy girl. I'm here because I am remembering her as she was. You come to realise they are in there somewhere.


"It was not an easy journey but I think ours was much easier than some."