FUNDRAISERS battling for a world without dementia put on their walking shoes as they united in the city with loved ones.

About 1,500 people came together on Sunday during the Oxford Memory Walk to raise awareness of the disease and help fund research.

Families filled Oxford University Parks as the sun began to peep from behind the clouds, thinking of close ones as they walked across the green space.

Actress Sue Holderness, best known for playing Marlene Boyce in Only Fools and Horses, boosted spirits before walkers set off on their journey.

Speaking just before she joined fundraisers, she said dementia was a cause close to her heart after watching her late mother battle the disease.

She added: "It was wonderful. The sun came out – it could not have been a more beautiful day and a more beautiful park.

"I have got to know a number of people who are suffering from the disease, and the carers need as much help [as people with dementia]. Of course, one day we all might need this help.

"[The walk is important] because not only are you getting yourself fit but you meet other people who you find really inspiring and uplifting".

The walk, organised by charity Alzheimer's Society, saw participants tackle a 3km or 6km trek, supporting more than 8,400 people who are living with dementia across the county.

Dementia is a term used to describe symptoms including memory loss, which occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions.

Energetic fundraisers warmed up with a zumba routine, twisting, twirling and waving their arms in the air to Bee Gees classic Stayin' Alive and Tina Turner's Proud Mary.

Walkers were also joined by their four-legged friends on the escapade across the green space, taking in sights of the River Cherwell before grabbing their medals at the finish line.

Trish Heron, Katie Appleton and Melissa Fazackerley joined the event from their Abingdon base to share information about services provided by the Alzheimer's Society.

Mrs Fazackerley, who lives near Banbury, said: "It's just a great way to get people talking about dementia".

Bicester resident Mrs Heron joined the charity as a group co-ordinator after being left feeling inspired when she took part in last year's Memory Walk.

The 45-year-old encouraged residents to join the charity's dementia cafes and singing for the brain sessions, adding the services help people with dementia to socialise and relax, as well as carers.

The trio also urged people across the county to lend their time and volunteer with the charity.

To get involved or for information and support from the Oxfordshire branch call 01235 531 989.