BEST known for playing Marlene in hit TV show Only Fools and Horses, Sue Holderness led 500 people in the University Parks to help fight dementia.

The actress, whose mother passed away from a dementia-related illness in 2006, cut the ribbon to start Alzheimer’s Society’s Oxford Memory Walk on Sunday.

Ms Holderness said: “Having taken part in Oxford Memory Walk last year, and again this year, I can honestly say that it is truly an uplifting feeling to be able to unite together with so many others affected by dementia, raising money to help aid research.

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“Memory Walk is a fun day out for family, friends and the community to unite against dementia and raise funds for such an important cause. I was honoured to cut the ribbon and take part again this year in loving memory of my darling mum, who I miss every day.”

Oxford Mail:

The TV legend was joined at the start line by Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds, who waved walkers on their way for the 3km or 6.5km walks.

Dr Sana Suri is an Alzheimer’s Society funded researcher at Oxford University.

She is investigating how brain health when people are older is linked to heart health in midlife.

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She took part in yesterday’s Memory Walk alongside her husband and university colleagues who are also working on dementia.

She added: “It’s been great to witness all these people walking together to defeat dementia. It’s been such a beautiful sunny day for it.

"It’s heartening to know we’re all making a real difference by raising money for this very worthwhile cause. I feel very proud to be part of Alzheimer’s Society’s work.”

Oxford Mail:

Julie Thomas, 57, a nursing assistant from Oxford, whose mother has dementia, said: “This is the second time I’ve taken part in Oxford Memory Walk. My mother was diagnosed with dementia about four years ago so it’s cause very close to my heart. The atmosphere was amazing. Seeing so many people all doing the walk because they’ve been affected by dementia was really moving.”

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Linda Goddard, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, said: “Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with someone developing it every three minutes - yet dementia research still trails far behind other health conditions, after decades of underfunding.

“I am so glad that hundreds of people from across Oxfordshire, and the surrounding area, united against dementia to improve the lives of people living with the condition.

Oxford Mail:

“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities.

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"Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia."

The Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150m over the next decade on dementia research to improve care.

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Ms Goddard added: "I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a brilliant success.

"I would also encourage anyone unable to take part this time to sign up to the Cambridge Memory Walk on Sunday, October 6 or Cheltenham Memory Walk on Sunday, October 13.”

Thirty-eight Memory Walks are taking place throughout September and October, or people can organise one of their own.

Oxford Mail:

To find out more about the remaining walks go to

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity.

Its research has shown that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia.