A Coleg Llandrillo Heath and Care student recently organised Pwllheli's first ever memory walk and helped raise nearly £2,000 towards the Alzheimer's Society in the process.
Donna Jones planned the walk to raise awareness of dementia in general, and the 800,000 people in the UK - including 11,000 people in North Wales - who live with the condition. She has just completed her Certificate of Higher Education in Healthcare Practice Level 4 qualification at the college's dedicated Institute of Health and Social Care, which is situated at the Rhos-on-Sea campus.
Over 160 people - including outreach health care support worker Donna, other staff from the older persons' mental health team, patients with dementia and local children - took part in the one and a half mile walk from Pwllheli Leisure Centre. Donna set up a stage outside the centre and booked various bands and acts to perform on the day, including their very own Elvis tribute act, Reverend Wynne Roberts.
Donna, from Abersoch, said:
We had an amazing time and everyone who took part thoroughly enjoyed the day. We had huge support from the local community and we were very grateful to have the town mayor, Eric Wyn Roberts, officially start the walk for us. We received a number of donations from local businesses towards the raffle and some of these will be placed in another raffle towards the end of this month so we can raise more funds for the charity. We would like to thank everyone for making our first ever memory walk a huge success, and we now hope this can become an annual event.
Talking about her return to education, Donna - who is getting married next year - said:
My children were both in full-time education, so I thought that I would do something for myself. The course has helped me immensely when working with my patients and also gave me the confidence to arrange the walk. I even gave a presentation to my fellow workers recently.
Donna is planning to start a nursing degree in mental health in the next few months.
For more information on Health and Social Care courses at Coleg Llandrillo, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.