Line of Duty star Vicky McClure takes part in ’emotional’ dementia walk

Line of Duty star Vicky McClure has said the return of the Memory Walk for dementia is “emotional” and “special” after the event was forced online last year due to the pandemic.

The fundraiser, which is taking place at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, is in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and its work to find a cure and improve support for people affected by the condition.

McClure, an ambassador for the society who has attended the walk for more than a decade, addressed the walkers before they embarked on either a 2km or 6km route.

Speaking before setting off, McClure told the PA news agency: “Any occasion is particularly special at the minute to be around people in person, but the Memory Walk is a very special date in my diary every year, that I have not missed for the last 11 years now.

“It is going to be emotional. People are here walking for loved ones and I have got a lot of friends now that are living with dementia, and a lot of friends that I have lost now (who I met through) the Dementia Choir.

“There is more and more reason to keep raising as much money and awareness as we can.”

McClure said the walk was “always really positive and uplifting and supportive” because attendees understood what their fellow walkers were going through.

“That is what makes it really special,” she added.

In 2019, the actress presented a BBC One documentary called Our Dementia Choir, exploring how music can help people suffering from some forms of the condition.

In the show, which earned a Bafta TV nomination, she spoke of seeing dementia first-hand after caring for her grandmother Iris who died in 2015.

McClure said there is “still a hell of a long way to go” in terms of support for those living with dementia.

“We need more support, as much as we can get, because it is the UK’s biggest killer, and it is a heartbreaking disease for families to go through, so having as much support (as possible) is what we need.

“And it is charities like the Alzheimer’s Society and other independent charities that are helping people get through it.

“Some of the statistics are quite scary. We have got to keep breaking down the barriers so people can understand it more and get diagnosed as early as they can, so they can live well with it. I think it is just continuing the fight.”

Kate Lee, CEO at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are so incredibly grateful for the support of our wonderful ambassador Vicky McClure, who has come together to support Memory Walk and raise awareness of dementia, which has affected so many families including hers and my own.

“While looking out into the sea of blue T-shirts, it is so moving to think that everyone, including Vicky, has their own personal reason for taking part in Memory Walk.

“Coronavirus has left a huge hole in the hearts of thousands of grieving families, many still finding it hard to cope watching their loved one’s condition accelerate, permanently impacted by the pandemic.”

Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks are taking place throughout September and October across the UK with more information online.