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Newspaper staff show their boots are made for walking

Ten staff at the Harlow Herald will be lacing up their walking boots later this month to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society’s.

They will be joined by six friends and former colleagues of the Archant weekly as the team bids to raise £200 on the ‘Memory Walk’.

Herald reporter Melissa Matthews said: “Taking part in this year’s Memory Walk is important to all the staff at the Herald as it highlights our Alzheimer’s Campaign and shows our support of the Harlow branch of The Alzheimer’s Society.

“We hope our support will encourage members of the public to take part as well. It is important to everyone in the office as it links to the campaign.”

It’s now over two years since the Harlow Herald initially launched its Alzheimer’s Campaign to raise awareness and fight for improved care for sufferers.

The campaign began with a one-off interview in July 2006 with a pensioner whose wife suffered from Alzheimer’s.

This soon grew into a full-blown campaign with staff doing the annual Memory Walk and a special campaign section on

The paper has also been working closely the Harlow Alzheimer’s Society – which turns 15 this year – on stories to raise further awareness of the disease.

An extra 15 council-funded beds have been secured but it is estimated that Harlow has around 900 sufferers, with that figure expected to increase by over half by 2020.

Melissa added: “We are currently campaigning for more dementia care beds in Harlow and our readers can complete a coupon we place in the paper each time an Alzheimer’s related story is printed to show their support for the campaign.

“We have also added the coupon online too in our dedicated campaign section.

“We’ve recently counted out these coupons and have more than 500 of them, which shows great support from the community.

“They are now in the process of being handed to Essex County Council in a bid to secure more council-funded residential beds for people in the Harlow area.”

Reporter Dana Gloger, who launched the campaign, said: “This was never intended to be a campaign. I went to interview a 92-year-old man who cared full-time for his wife who had Alzheimer’s disease.

“I was so struck by his story and the lack of provision for Alzheimer’s sufferers in Harlow that I decided something needed to be done and so launched the campaign.

“The aim from the offset was to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by those in Harlow with Alzheimer’s and their friends, families and carers and to lobby local council to increase its provision.

“The campaign garnered such public support that within three months the local authority had agreed to fund almost 50 per cent more residential beds in the town, for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Over two years later, the campaign is still going strong.”

  • There are Memory Walks taking place across the UK on September 14 – to sponsor the ‘Herald Hikers’ visit their online fundraising page.