Walkers in Pembrokeshire are being urged to step up at a local event raise money to fund vital research into Parkinson’s, the fastest growing neurological condition in the world.

Haverfordwest Walk for Parkinson’s, in aid of Parkinson’s UK, will take place on Saturday 1 June.

Bob Ratcliffe, 61, has been organising these walks for several years in memory of his father, with fundraising reaching well over £45,000 so far. Leading the 7.8km circular walk, with planned refreshments stops, Bob and the team welcome walkers at any pace, with dogs allowed on leads. It starts with registration at 10am at Haverfordwest Cricket Club, with a £15 entry donation and walkers will set off at 10.30am.

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s. It affects around 153,000 people in the UK and every hour two more people are diagnosed. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety.

Bob said: “I saw first-hand the impact that Parkinson’s had on my dad. He was diagnosed in his 60s and lived with Parkinson's for many years before passing in 2010 aged 84. But he was always very positive, so he found out as much as he could about the condition as it progressed. Dad insisted that after his death that his brain and spinal column were donated to research. So we began the walk in his memory in 2011 and it has grown into a firm fixture in the social calendar. All donations will go towards funding important research into the condition which has the potential to lead to better treatments.”

For further details of the Haverfordwest Walk For Parkinson’s, contact Bob and Jane Ratcliffe on 07887 707496 or sign up via eventbrite.

Parkinson’s UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe, leading the way to better treatments and a cure. Keri McKie, Wales Community Fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK Cymru, said:

“We are so grateful to Bob for organising this walk. We hope that his tireless fundraising inspires more people to support Parkinson’s UK. There are lots of ways to get involved - from volunteering at an event, to campaigning for better services. Without the generosity of people like Bob, our work would not be possible.

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough.

“Walk for Parkinson’s is Parkinson’s UK’s annual fundraising series, and this year the charity is hosting a series of walks taking in 15 locations across the UK between June and October. If you’re unable to make it to one of the events near you, you can organise your own Walk for Parkinson’s event, just like Bob.” 

To find out more about Walk for Parkinson’s, visit: parkinsons.org.uk/get-involved/walk-parkinsons or email: [email protected]

Further information, advice and support is available on the Parkinson’s UK website, www.parkinsons.org.uk or via a free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.

For more information about Parkinson’s UK Cymru, visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/about-us/parkinsons-uk-cymru