THOUSANDS turned up to the annual Memory Walk to support and remember loved ones.

Walkers of all ages gathered at Hove Lawns near the King Alfred Leisure Centre today to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society.

So far, Brighton and Hove have residents have raised more than £76,000. Participants could choose to walk either 3km or 6km towards Brighton Palace Pier.

Alzheimer's Society's Elisa Vaughan, operations manager for Sussex, said: "Last year we had 2,300 turning up for the walk. This popular event gets everyone together to walk in memory of their loved ones who lived with dementia.

"We run these events across the country. There is also one happening in Maidstone on Saturday.

"This walk is a very emotional journey for everyone, and everyone is very dedicated. Four years ago when we ran the event it was raining heavily. However, hundreds still turned up."

Richard Boxall, 88, of Eastbourne, said: "I am walking for my wife. She passed away from Alzheimer's last year. She suffered with it for five years. 

"I came with my three daughters today. This is my fifth walk, I chose the 3km walk.

"This walk means so much to me. I want to support the society in memory of my wife."

Aaron Q, 50, from Brighton, said: "My father was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago and he is at the advanced stages of it. He is 70.

"He is living in a care home now. Sometimes he doesn't remember his wife and she visits him every day. They have been married for 50 years too.

"This is my third walk. It means a lot to me to help Alzheimer's Society raise money because if you have seen how dementia affects your family you don't wish it would happen to anyone else. 

"We are still at the learning stages of understanding dementia. It doesn't only affect older people, but children can be diagnosed with it.

"The care home is excellent. The care home is part of the Four Seasons Health Care. 

"I want to say thank you to them, and to the staff who have been wonderful, kind and compassionate. Their work should be recognised and praised.

"It's not easy looking after a dementia patient because they can be very demanding. 

"My father sometimes doesn't recognise food. In his mind, he can't process that it is food, and you need to eat it."

Beckie James, 20, from Horsham, said: "I am doing this for my great nan. She is 87 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly two years ago.

"She is living in a care home now. This is my second walk. You never know how devastating it is unless you have seen it first hand.

"She forgets me sometimes, and she has days where she forgets everyone. She gets very distressed because she wants to go home, but the care home is her home.

"She talks about her mum a lot, but she is no longer here. You just have to go along with it."