A recruitment consultancy based in Solihull will take on Alzheimer’s Society’s GLOW Memory Walk in support of the company’s founder who is living with dementia after being diagnosed with the disease in her mid-50s.

Karen Tirebuck, now 61, founded Tirebuck Recruitment in 2000. The Knowle-based consultancy went from strength to strength with her being awarded the accolades of ‘Solihull Businesswoman of the Year’ and ‘Solihull Times’ Best Business Award’.

Her daughter, Emily, 32, made the decision to join the family business five years ago after her mum’s diagnosis and has rallied her team, friends and family to walk in support of her mum and others living with dementia, and raise money for Alzheimer’s Society at the GLOW Memory Walk in Warwick on Saturday 21st March.

Following the popularity of Alzheimer’s Society’s three GLOW events last year, it has grown to 12 walks across the country in 2020. The exciting new night-time event is a Memory Walk with a twist. The walk encourages people to dress up with glow sticks, glitter and neon, so that everyone can ‘glow’ the distance to shine a light on dementia.

Emily says: “Mum was always a big character – she was very personable and always enjoyed dancing, singing, having a good time with friends and family and she built a successful recruitment company with a fantastic reputation.

“But in her mid-50s, mum started to show the first signs of dementia and struggled with even the most basic of tasks, she eventually lost the ability at times to even write an email or make a phone call.

“Mum went to the doctors and they initially thought her symptoms were the result of HRT due to the menopause. But then mum lost her peripheral vision and went to the opticians who then suggested she go back to the doctors. It was such a rigmarole to get the diagnosis of dementia.

“Since the diagnosis, mum’s decline has been rapid, and she’s had to stop working. My dad has had to give up his job as a plumber to care for her full time. All the family pitch in where we can to support my dad, in order to give him some much-needed respite. My mum has now lost the ability to read, write and most recently follow a storyline on the television, it’s heart-breaking to watch the Alzheimer’s take hold and strip her of her independence.

The support mum has received from Alzheimer’s Society has been incredible. My dad takes mum to a number of clubs, including a monthly support group in Warwick called “The Young Ones” set up for younger people living with dementia and mum has made some great new friends. It’s also been a great support network for my dad as well and last year Tirebuck Recruitment paid for the group’s Christmas lunch because we were so grateful for the support that’s been given to mum.

“But I decided last year that I wanted to do more to help and wanted to get the business involved with fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society. Since then we’ve taken part in Cupcake Day and we delivered cakes to our clients to help raise awareness and encourage people to visit the charity’s website and find out more about dementia.

“I read about the GLOW Memory Walk on social media and it looks really fun and a bit different. I’m encouraging the team, my friends and family to dress up and wear glow face paint and neon clothing. There are 10 of us from Tirebuck Recruitment taking part, as well as my family, friends and mum’s going to come along to the walk as well.”

To support Emily and make a donation visit her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mw519985

Ryan Stanley, Community Fundraiser for Solihull and Warwickshire said: “Every three minutes someone in the UK develops dementia and there is currently no cure. But fundraising can change this, by walking to defeat dementia at GLOW.

“Research will beat dementia and that’s why Alzheimer’s Society has pledged to invest £150 million over the next decade to find better treatments for dementia and work towards a cure.

“Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with 850,000 people affected by the cruel disease. There are more than 3,400 people in Solihull living with the condition.

“Every pound raised at the GLOW Memory Walk will go towards funding research and providing support to people affected by dementia.

“We’re calling on people with dementia, family, friends and teams from across Solihull, Warwickshire and the West Midlands to get ‘glowing’ this March and join us at Warwick Racecourse for a Memory Walk with a twist.

“Get together with your colleagues, your friends and the whole family and make new memories together at GLOW to take a stand against dementia.

“Dementia devastates lives; it slowly strips people of their memories, relationships and identities. Every pound raised at GLOW will help Alzheimer’s Society provide vital information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by the condition.

“We are urging people to help put dementia to bed by taking part in GLOW and walking after dark. Walk with us and raise funds for research, sign up now at: memorywalk.org.uk/glow.”

Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia, whatever you are going through, you can turn to us for support, information and advice.