PEOPLE are being urged to sign up for the inaugural memory walk in Southampton to raise money in the battle against dementia and Alzheimer’s.

More than 1,700 people have already registered for the Southampton Memory Walk which takes place this Sunday.

The walk will raise awareness of the traumatic disease as well as funds to support vital research and services.

One of those encouraging residents to get involved is Terry Eccott - a Hampshire man diagnosed with stage one vascular dementia.

Since detection of the disease, Mr Eccott has focused energy and experience in helping others understand the condition and find ways to support those living with dementia.

He said: “Being diagnosed with dementia is not an end-of-life situation. You can still go and do things and find coping strategies to help. You can continue a happy, useful and productive life for quite some time.

“Every pound raised through memory walk will help Alzheimer’s Society provide vital information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia. So I urge people in Southampton to join me and sign up today.

“There are also ways people can get involved as volunteers at the event. This could be something as simple as marshalling or cheering on walkers at the finish line. I myself will be presenting medals on the day.”

In Southampton, around 2,500 people are living with dementia and last year’s Memory Walks across the country raised more than £6m and were attended by 100,000 people.

Nick O’Donohue, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Hampshire, said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.

“We are calling on family, friends – and furry four-legged supporters – to unite against dementia this autumn. Dementia devastates lives.

“Walk with us at memory walk and dementia won’t win.

“Every pound raised will help.”

Last month, Saints legend Matt Le Tissier confirmed he would open the walk.