Horsham mother’s fundraiser for Alzheimer’s

Memory walk picture Jess and her family
Memory walk picture Jess and her family

A mother from Horsham has organised a music festival and memory walk to help raise money for suffers of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jess Hillicks, from Broadbridge Heath, is hosting the event at the Red Lyon pub in Slinfold on Sunday August 24 with the festival also running alongside a family fun day.

The aim is to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society which will go towards helping people cope with the disease and contribute towards work to find a cure.

The inspiration behind the event is Jess’ mother, Rosemarie Clark, who is a suffer of the disease.

Jess recently started noticing that her 80-year-old mother was beginning to struggle with what used to be simple everyday tasks.

She said: “There were little signs that I didn’t really think about before, such as her getting confused about how to get into a car.

“She couldn’t work out what leg needed to go in first but once in she could put her seatbelt on with no worries at all.

“I didn’t really think about it at first. It was only when I put everything together that I realised something wasn’t right.”

Jess said that as the disease gets worse it feels as if she is losing her mother.

“Although mum is still alive, I have lost the mum I knew and loved,” she said.

“She is now in a care home and doesn’t always recognise me and the most upsetting thing about her condition is that when I say ‘hello mum’ this can sometimes bring back bad memories for her and then I lose precious time with her as she gets distressed and upset.”

Her own personal experience has prompted Jess to run the fun day and memory walk.

It will start with the walk at 11am and people will get a choice of whether to walk the shorter or longer distance. In the afternoon there will be live entertainment from six local bands, a tombola, a raffle and a hog roast along with many other actives in including a craft tent for children.

Jess said: “I would like to raise as much money as possible so that more research can be done. I know that a cure might not be found in my lifetime, but it might be found in my children’s lifetime or their children’s lifetime.

“I really want it to be a success and want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves.”

Jess has recently become a Dementia Friends Champion, meaning she can help to inform more people about living with dementia.

If anyone would like help coping with the disease you can email her at hillicks@aol.com.