Husband inspired by wife to take on charity walk

Husband inspired by wife to take on charity walk

by Tom Martin (August 2022)

A DEVOTED husband from Formby will take part in a charity walk after his wife was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Robin Baynes MBE is set to join thousands of fundraisers going the extra mile for Alzheimer’s Society at the Liverpool Memory Walk at Aintree Racecourse on Sunday, September 4.

The reason why Robin is taking part is because his wife of 58 years, Brenda, is living with vascular dementia.

The couple, who married at 18, have three children, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

In 1979 the couple established a business providing support and residential care for the homeless. It has evolved into New Start which is now run by the couple’s two sons and helps 500 people in the Merseyside area. Robin and Brenda’s daughter Nicky also worked for the business for 15 years.

Robin is also founder of the charity Liverpool Heartbeat which helps young people live healthy and fulfilled lives and he was awarded an MBE for his services to the community.

Brenda was diagnosed with vascular dementia ten years ago after a mini stroke. For several years she was able to continue her charity work at home and overseas, for which the couple were given the City of Liverpool Commonwealth Award in 2018.

However, in recent years Brenda’s health has deteriorated and in February her family made the difficult decision for her to live in a care home.

“I was doing the work of four people,” said Robin. “I had to make that decision because I wouldn’t have been able to continue to look after Brenda or myself, because I was really suffering.

“When the doctor diagnosed Brenda with vascular dementia he apologised to me. He described it like a staircase and that with each mini stroke she’s going down another step and that there was no way back up. Now we’re near the bottom of that staircase.

“Brenda is such a lovely person, she was like a mum to the homeless men we worked with, giving them a hug, doing their washing- they all loved her.

“Nicky, our daughter, was Brenda’s best friend and she misses all the retail therapy they did together. Nicky gives me great support and helps me through these dark times.

“It makes me sad because after 58 years of marriage we should be going around enjoying ourselves and we can’t. I loved Brenda so much.”

“A manager called Tracy at one of New Start’s homes decided to do the Memory Walk in tribute to Brenda and she will be joined by several of the residents whose lives she has touched over the years. I was so moved when they told me what they were doing and I immediately said sign me up too,” said Robin.

Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people in Merseyside to join Robin this September to help people affected by dementia

Visit find out more about memory walks.

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