BANK colleagues from Cardiff and Penarth led local community members on one of over 50 Lloyds Banking Group Big Awareness Walks in aid of Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland last month.

Marking Dementia Awareness Week, May 18 - May 24, colleagues and local community members walked to raise money and awareness about dementia, a condition that affects 800,000 people across the UK.

Lloyds colleagues and members of the community dressed in blue and carried balloons as they travelled from Rumney, Roath Park, Llanishen, Whitchurch, Victoria Park, Canton, Penarth and Queen Street, Cardiff.

Text donations and collection boxes from the Cardiff and Penarth area helped support the charity partners' pioneering "Live Well" programme, which is currently being rolled out across the UK.

Lloyds staff in Penarth wore blue for the day and sold tea and cakes and raised £105.15.

"Live Well" is Alzheimer's Society's first national support programme for people with dementia and their carers. Through a series of sessions, it aims to educate people about how to cope with everyday life and how to plan for the future.

Due to the success of fundraising to date, Alzheimer's Society has also been able to pay for 100,000 copies of their "Dementia Guide", the first book of its kind provided to people at the point of diagnosis that offers comprehensive guidance and information about the condition.

Rob Noon, Lloyds Bank Local Director, said: "Throughout our partnership with Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland so far, we've raised over £3million to help people with dementia and their carers. Many of our colleagues have been affected by the condition, and that experience has spurred them on to help raise awareness of the condition."

He added: "It is Lloyds Banking Group's ambition as a Group to help Britain prosper by making a difference to local communities. The Big Awareness Walk was an opportunity to do just that, combining awareness-raising with fundraising. Hitting the pavements of Cardiff and Penarth we heard about people's experiences of dementia, directing some members of the public to the Alzheimer's Society for support. Getting people talking about the condition is a great way for us to help tackle the stigma that unfortunately still exists and encouraged people to be more dementia-friendly".

Jeremy Hughes, chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society said:

"We are delighted by the passion and commitment shown by Lloyds Bank colleagues. It is fantastic that they are working to get the whole community involved in our cause. There will be over a million people with dementia by 2021, and partnership like this one with Lloyds Banking Group help us continue our vital work. I wish them all the best in completing the challenge".

Donations can also be made at Lloyds Bank, Penarth. In order to donate via text, text TALK50 followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070 (eg. TALK50 £3).