By Kristine Kivle
Sunday 26th of May the GCP volunteering team, alongside the GCR D.U.C.K team hosted the first Ustinov charity walk/run at Sheraton Park. “Walk down memory lane” was put on in partnership with the UK Alzheimer’s society to help fundraise the incredible work they do for individuals, families and groups affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia. This means almost all of us knows someone affected by the disease. Dementia doesn’t just affect old people but is increasingly affecting younger people as well. Currently, there is no cure for dementia despite heavy efforts by scientists and doctors. Memories are some of the most important things we have and the architecture of our identity. That is why we chose the Alzheimer’s society as our organisation and wanted to contribute to their cause.
The framework of the event was simple, we invited Ustinovians, students, faculty, staff, the local community, family and friends to contribute to our goal of walking/running 50 km in 1,5 hours. At Sheraton Park we made a loop where participants could walk or run as many rounds as they wanted to within the time frame. 25 people contributed and together we managed to run/walk 671 rounds(!!). Ustinovian, Daniel Barnett, was on fire that Sunday and completed 167 rounds BY HIMSELF!! Because of this collective effort we managed to reach our goal!o.
The event was not only limited to walking and running but featured a variety of family entertainment. The children (but also some grown-ups) decorated cupcakes, used their creativity at the arts and craft table and got their face painted by our lovely volunteers. Participants also had the opportunity of trying a variety of food and drinks. With Chinese rice cakes, Norwegian “Boller”, English lemon cake, energy bars, hot chocolate and bubble tea, to mention a small selection, our taste buds also got a workout. The delicious cakes and pastries were exchanged for donations to the Alzheimer’s society, who also contributed with their volunteers. The Alzheimer’s society hosted a very useful information booth were those passing by could ask their questions regarding Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Unfortunately, the event was held on a rainy bank holiday Sunday, the turnout was thus not as good as we had hoped for. Despite this we had a great day and managed to raise £197.40 for an incredibly important cause.
As the head of the volunteering team I would like to thank all our volunteers for the effort, time and fun they put into this event. I would further like to thank all those who came to the event and made it a success, as well as those who supported the online campaign. Lastly, I would like to extend a particularly massive thank you to GCR D.U.C.K Liaison officer, Sumien Deetlefs, who co-organised and hosted the event with me. The College Management Team at Ustinov College also deserve a thank you for all the help and guidance.