People who complete the Bath or Bristol Memory Walk will receive a free three-day pass for GLL sports and leisure centres in Bath and Bristol when they flash their medals at reception, Alzheimer’s Society and GLL have announced today.

Memory Walk is Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland this September and October. This year, Bath will be holding its first ever Memory Walk. The event will take place on Sunday 18 September at Bath Recreation Ground, bringing together more than 2,500 walkers across generations.

The Bristol walk will be held on Sunday 9 October, starting at Lloyd's Amphitheatre on Canon's Marsh. An estimated 3,000 people will walk together through the sights of Bristol along either a 1.5km or 6km route. To celebrate the events, Alzheimer’s Society has agreed with GLL leisure centres that all participants will be able to present their Memory Walk medals in return for a free dip in the pool or use of the gym at the Bath, Culverhay and Keynsham Sports and Leisure Centres. The offer will be available to walkers until Monday 31 October and will be limited to one pass per person.

Steve Beere, GLL Healthwise Coordinator for Bath and North East Somerset, said: “GLL’s Healthwise team are working closely with Alzheimer’s Society and the Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Dementia Action Alliance to raise awareness of dementia.

“We have recently pledged to become a dementia-friendly business and have put action plans in place to work towards this goal. We plan to offer a Dementia Friends awareness session to staff and will be supporting our local Memory Walks. We would like to offer those who participate in the Bath or Bristol Memory Walk a three-day pass to help them stay active.”

Considerable research shows that taking regular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting dementia, and there is also evidence to show that exercising outside in a rural environment or green spaces is also highly beneficial for people’s mental health and overall wellbeing.

Chris Atkinson, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Bath and North East Somerset, said:  “Memory Walk is a great opportunity for all generations of every family to step out together to walk for a world without dementia - all while enjoying a great day out in the fresh air with those you care about.

“We already know that what’s good for the heart is good for the head, and regular exercise is one of the best ways to help reduce your risk of developing dementia. That’s why it is great that GLL are supporting people in Bath to keep active following the walk.

“The money you raise for Alzheimer’s Society will better support those living with dementia and help to find a cure.  Every person, every pound, every step will bring us closer.”

Over 2,600 people in Bath and North East Somerset have dementia. With this only set to rise, soon everyone will know someone who has or will be affected by the condition. Whether you’re walking in memory of a loved one, to celebrate someone you know affected by dementia or to create memories with family and friends, people of all ages and abilities can sign up to take part in the Bath Memory Walk to raise money to support people with dementia and find a cure.

From the money raised, £650 would pay for a brain scan to help diagnosis, £100 would allow someone with dementia to attend ten Singing for the Brain activity sessions, £20 would cover a month’s attendance at an Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Café.

To find out more about Memory Walk visit www.memorywalk.org.uk  and sign up today to walk for a world without dementia