Sale pensioner who raised £18,000 for Alzheimer’s charity reveals ‘heartbreak’ of losing wife to disease

A Sale pensioner who raised £18,000 for an Alzheimer’s charity has revealed to MM the pain of losing his wife to the disease that leaves a person ‘like an empty husk’.

Sale’s Fred Walker has been recognised by Halifax in the Giving Extra Awards for his inspiring charity work with the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Fred, 76, is a champion for the Alzheimer’s charity after being a full-time carer for his wife for ten years – who suffered from an early-onset Alzheimer’s.

He told MM: “I nursed my wife through the disease for 10 years, and seeing the horror of the disease first hand, I thought it would be a good idea to fundraise for the leading charity that researches it.

“I wanted to ensure other people didn’t face the journey I had to face, as by the end Alzheimer’s leaves a person like an empty husk, only left with a beating heart”

As well as raising a total of £18,000, he has also published a book titled Alzheimer’s: An Engineer’s View with his colleague and friend, Dr Chris Pomfrett.

Fred said: “I have been a dedicated supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK for four years. Although my fundraising efforts and charity work aren’t to win awards, it feels great to be recognised and rewarded for the work I have done for the charity.”

Fred explained that it was his daughter Suzanne Maybury who nominated him for the award.

“She outlined to the Halifax the work I’ve done – when I was 73 I did a sponsored climb of Snowden, when I was 74 I did a skydive 13,000ft and the following year I published a book on the subject of Alzheimer’s and my first-hand dealings with it,” he said.

“I also have an on-going programme, doing talks and lectures with various organisations and groups, such as church groups – when then give donations to the charity. I currently have raised a total of £18,000.

“I find it puzzling however that I’ve been nominated, because I look at what other workers were doing who have been nominated, and I’ve found them all to be awe-inspiring.”

Ambassador for the Halifax awards Jenni Falconer said: “Fred has gone out of his way to help others. He has made a huge difference to his community and, hopefully, his recognition will inspire others to do the same.”

The Halifax Giving Extra awards were launched in November Last Year to celebrate positivity in local communities.

They cover seven regions in the UK, with one person winning a prize from each region, and then a finalist being declared out of the seven individuals.

The awards are done in partnership with Global radio’s Capital FM, Heart FM and LBC stations, and nominations for the awards were made online or in local Halifax branches.

David Nicholson of the Halifax Community Bank said: “Halifax has been a part of Britain’s communities for over 150 years and we understand how important strong, thriving local communities are and their strength is key in helping us deliver the goal of Helping Britain Prosper.

“Our regional winners have stepped up to make their community a better place. They have fundraised, provided support, raised awareness and given their time to causes close to their hearts. It was difficult to choose just seven from our 67 incredible local winners but I think all these people truly deserve to be recognised for their dedication and community spirit.”

Mr. Walker will donate the £500 prize money he has been given by Halifax to Alzheimer’s Research UK; the national winner for the award will be announced on February 24. 

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