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Emmerdale star to join Harrogate Memory Walk

Emmerdale star to join Harrogate Memory Walk

Published at 8:17am 7th September 2016. (Updated at 5:04pm 7th September 2016)

An Emmerdale star, whose character is at the centre of a storyline about dementia, is taking part in this weekend's Memory Walk in Harrogate.

Actor John Middleton will join members of the public on Saturday for the walk which raises money for Alzheimer's Society.

Over the last year, regular viewers of the ITV soap have seen local vicar Ashley Thomas live with dementia.

Ashley was diagnosed nearly a year ago and is struggling with its effects on a daily basis, often forgetting words or to do simple tasks, all the while his family and close friends try to cope with it too.

According to a Government report, one in three people will care for someone suffering from dementia in their lifetime.

The walk is organised by local MP Andrew Jones.

He said: "This constituency has the largest number of people on the dementia register in Yorkshire. We cannot afford to ignore this issue.

"There are improvements being made constantly in dementia treatment and care and it is important to maintain that momentum locally and nationally. Events like the Harrogate Memory Walk help do that.

"Dementia is a not a symptom of old age; it is not a 'fact of life'. It is a disease and as a disease there will be a cure.

"I want you to join me in being a part of finding that cure, step by step and pound by pound."

Dementia remains one of the top five underlying causes of death in the UK and a third of people who die after the age of 65 have the condition.

John Middleton said: "I am delighted to be taking part in the Harrogate Memory Walk and am really looking forward to the day.

"Memory Walks take place all over the country in autumn each year and are a great opportunity for the whole family to come together in a really positive way to help Alzheimer's Society fight dementia.

"Everyone can help to make a real difference to those living with dementia and ongoing work towards finding a cure by taking part in a Memory Walk and raising vital funds for Alzheimer's Society."

Saturday's walk will begin at the Pump Rooms entrance to Valley Gardens at 2pm, and includes two laps of a gentle 0.8-mile route around Valley Gardens.

It's hoped that at least £5,000 will be raised for Alzheimer's Society.

Pictured: Setting off on last year’s Memory Walk