Karen’s Marching On For Alzheimer’s Research


A few months ago we featured Karen Penny in the “Friend”, an inspiring lady who was taking on an incredible journey — a 20,000 mile coastal walk around the UK and Ireland, all to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Karen has her own personal reasons for having this charity close to her heart: both of her in-laws were affected by different forms of dementia.

Karen, who is fifty-four, had been travelling continuously for 13 months on foot from her home in the Gower, South Wales.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to return home in March.

At that point she had walked 6,405 miles, and reached the UK’s northern-most point, in the Shetland Islands. She placed an Alzheimer’s Research UK flag there to mark the point at which she had to break off her travels.

Back on home turf, however, Karen kept herself busy.

“I have tried to use my time away from walking as productively as possible,” she says.

“As well as helping out with deliveries to vulnerable or shielding people in my community, I have put together a calendar with some of the beautiful images that I took on the 13 months of my journey so far. I will shortly be putting it on sale for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“I’ve also been keeping myself fit by taking lots of walks around the beautiful Gower coastline. And enjoying spending some quality time with my husband and elderly cat, Bilbo.”

We wish her all the best

Karen is now set to resume her challenge on August 10. Everyone here at the “Friend” would like to wish her all the best!

“Although it’s been nice to catch up with things at home, I’m nevertheless itching to get started again,” Karen admits.

“I met so many wonderful people who were as keen as I am to support Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“Sadly, one in two people know someone who has been affected by dementia. So everywhere I went I met people with their own stories to share.”

To date, Karen has raised almost £62,000 towards vital dementia research. Money that is even more crucial in these challenging times for all charities.

To sponsor Karen, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thepennyrollson

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK call 0300 111 5555 or visit their website here.

For more on charitable causes supported by the “Friend”, click here to see our Helping Others pages.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.