Hannah McIntosh, Reward Manager at Care UK, and her three-year-old dachshund Benny set themselves the challenge of walking 100 kilometres – the equivalent to 62.2 miles – throughout the month of March in memory of her late grandmother, Margaret.

The power-walking pair raised funds for Dementia UK, the specialist dementia nursing charity. The charity holds a special place in Hannah’s heart for the support, they provided her family whilst Margaret was living with dementia.

Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who are continually supported and developed by Dementia UK, to provide life-changing advice and support to anyone affected by dementia, whenever it’s needed. They work on the free national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, in face-to-face and virtual clinics, and in the community, in GP practices, hospitals, and care homes.

Hannah recently joined Care UK, starting her new adventure in March 2023. After spending most of her career in financial services, she decided she wanted a change and to be in a role where she felt like she was giving back. She said: “In my role, our focus is our colleagues. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than working to fulfil the lives of our those who, in turn, do an incredible job of fulfilling the lives of our residents and communities. The values at Care UK really resonate with me, and so many homes offer dementia care, which is very close to my heart. I knew I’d love working for Care UK.”

Hannah’s gran, Margaret, was 84 years old and lived with dementia for two years before she passed in 2015. She remained at home with Hannah’s grandad and parents looking after her but was additionally supported by Admiral Nurses from Dementia UK. As Dementia UK is close to Hannah’s heart, she has fundraised for them for many years, raising funds mainly through baking and getting involved in Cupcake Days and Baking for Dementia, before discovering the 100-kilometre walking challenge in 2021.

Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia: a progressive and complex condition that can be devastating for the whole family. It’s a huge and growing health crisis and is the leading cause of death in the UK.

Hannah and Benny raised an incredible £307.50 alongside getting their steps in, and later applied for Care UK’s Matched Funding scheme, which matches colleagues’ fundraising efforts up to £1,000. With matched funding approved, Hannah’s final donation to Dementia UK was £615.

The money raised can enable 15 families living with dementia to receive free, life-changing advice and support from a specialist dementia nurse on their Helpline.

Joanna Sullivan, Head of Community Fundraising, Events, and Innovation at Dementia UK, said: “We are so grateful to Hannah for taking on this incredible challenge for Dementia UK.

“One in three people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. Thanks to the hard work of our amazing fundraisers like Hannah, more families than ever will be able to access the life-changing support offered by our Admiral Nurses.”

Hannah said: “We often do this challenge in memory of my gran, as I just don’t think anyone can really appreciate how much of an impact dementia can have on you, or on your whole family until you experience it. I just think what Dementia UK, and our carers at Care UK, do is incredible. The least I can do is try and raise a little money and awareness by walking with Benny.”