AN ANDOVER hospital volunteer who has witnessed the devastating impact of dementia is preparing for a tough charity challenge.

Angela Thorn will take part in a 26-mile Stonehenge-based trek in support of Alzheimer’s Society’s vital work in September.

She will be one of thousands of people taking part in the event to raise money for the UK’s leading dementia charity.

The 65-year-old is taking part after she was exposed to the realities of the condition when she started volunteering at the Kingfisher ward at Andover War Memorial Hospital.

She said: “I work with a number of patients who have dementia. It is heartbreaking to hear them call for, and speak about, their relatives who they haven’t seen for years but then to see their lockers full of gifts and cards.

“It is sad to hear a patient cry when they think that their partner has left them because they can’t remember that they have actually passed away. When they are reminded, they receive the news as if they are being told for the first time."

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The grandmother-of-one added: “Sometimes they don’t understand that they can’t go downstairs and have a cup of tea, or they might happily chat to me thinking that I am their loved one.

“Despite all of this though I am usually overwhelmed by the love and patience that the families and carers of patients of the ward show day after day.”

Aiming to raise £300, Angela – who volunteers on the ward as a mealtime assistant - will take part in the tough trek on September 10.

The marathon route starts to the north of Salisbury and will go past the magnificent 13th-century cathedral. It continues over water meadows, high ridges and quiet woodland, with paths following medieval trading routes.

There is also a half marathon option which will join the route in the picturesque village of Great Wishford before taking in fabulous views of Stonehenge, and circling south to tackle the undulating chalk ridges and quiet valleys back to Old Sarum.

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“My grandmother had dementia but back then we didn’t know so much about the condition,” said Angela.

“Working at the hospital has been such an eye-opener. I’ve learnt so much about dementia and it has dawned on me how difficult it is for the families of those affected. It has really touched me and I want to do my bit to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society because it is such an important cause.”

Angela will join thousands of determined fundraisers taking on either a 13- or 26-mile trek at various Trek26 events in aid of Alzheimer’s Society across the UK this summer.

Alzheimer’s Society’s services, including the Dementia Connect support line, have been used over six million times since the start of the pandemic but too many are still facing dementia alone.

Linda Goddard, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for Hampshire, said: “We would like to thank Angela and all of our amazing fundraisers who are taking part in a Trek26 event for us this summer.

“Money raised will help Alzheimer’s Society reach and support more people through our vital services, which have been lifeline for so many people.

“There are over 22,380 people living with dementia in Hampshire. We’re calling on people across the county to go the distance and don their boots for a Trek26 challenge in 2022. Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide vital information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by the condition.

“We are in awe of the resilience of supporters like Angela whose dedication to fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society ensures that we are able to support those who need it most.”

To sign up for an epic 13 or 26 mile trek in one of various locations around the UK this summer, visit:

To sponsor Angela, visit:

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