Wigan friends take on 13-mile Lakes trek for charity

A group of Wigan friends are trekking 13 miles along Lake Ullswater to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 5:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 12:35 pm
Friends prepare for their long march

The team is made up of seven practice nurses, a practice manager and two medical reps who have become good friends, supporting each other over recent years.

Dementia has affected everyone in the team personally and also professionally, with practice nurses caring for patients with Alzheimer’s on a daily basis, experiencing first hand the devastating impact it has on both sufferers and families.

It was originally Nayshia Whittle who had decided to embark on the trek herself in memory of her grandad. As soon as she mentioned this to her colleagues, they were all extremely keen to join in to support her and this amazing charity.

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Charlotte Cusick

Nayshia’s grandad died with dementia when she was just 13. She grew up helping to care for him with her family. It had taken years for his diagnosis and unfortunately there was no treatment available at the time. Nayshia said: “We have come a long way since then and it is definitely the reason I went into nursing.

“Dementia and elderly mentally ill patients always had a special place for me, even as a young 19-year-old.

“When others had little patience, they just stole my heart. During this last 18 months of the pandemic, they have needed more support than ever and that’s why I wanted to do this.

“The fact that my colleagues agreed to help speaks volumes about the nurses we are …. everyone has their own story, whether that’s relatives, patients, friends ... it literally impacts everyone.”

Final preparations are being made for the walk

Tracey McLoughlin’s aunt has dementia. She went from being a vibrant articulate 74-year-old, always immaculately dressed with her hair styled and make up carefully applied, to become a shell of her former self. Tracey says it was absolutely heart-breaking to see the deterioration.

Charlotte Cusick is walking for her husband’s uncle Stephen who was diagnosed with dementia during lockdown. Rachel Smith describes how devastating it was for her and her whole family seeing her grandma suffering with dementia, “My dear grandma had no idea who anyone was anymore and it was so sad for her family to witness.

“I also want to support this amazing cause because we deal with it day in, day out in general practice. I want to make a difference for the patients and their families that I help to care for.

Some of the team haven’t walked long distances before and have spent the last few months working to improve their fitness in their spare time to ensure they achieve their 13 mile goal on Saturday August 7.

The team would like to thank everyone who has donated to support them so far. And Rachel wanted to thank Phil Kenyon from Crystal Leisurewear in Pemberton for sponsoring the team and providing hoodies for the walkers.

They have raised almost £4,000 so far.

The team taking part are : Rachel Smith and Nayshia Whittle – Beech Hill Medical Practice; Sarah Minton- Shevington Surgery; Nichola Heaton – The Grange Surgery; Tracey McLoughlin – Mesnes View Surgery; Charlotte Cusick – Marus Bridge Practice; Siobhan Lyons – Newtown Medical Practice; Lina De Burgh – Wrightington Street Surgery; and Vicky Morgan and Jane Cubbin.

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