29 / 05 / 2024

Lovell site manager, Graeme Simpson, is gearing up to take on a 98-mile hike in Scotland in June to raise funds for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Dementia Comfort charity. The charity aims to ensure patients with dementia and their families or carers can experience the very best care, in the very best environment.

We caught up with Graeme to find out about his challenge and his personal reasons for doing it…


Can you tell us about the challenge?


“I’m taking on the West Highland Way on 8th June 2024 to raise funds for Dementia Comfort. We hope to raise enough to create a special garden within the N&N Hospital grounds, providing a peaceful outdoor space that can be safely and securely accessed by patients and their families.

“Nearly three years ago my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At first the change was very gradual, he'd forget where his glasses were or misplace his wallet. Three years on, his whole world has changed. His short-term memory is non-existent, his awareness of time has now completely disappeared, he no longer reads or writes, he's confused all the time and his emotions are all over the place. It’s a cruel illness and I want to raise funds for the charity to help other families be supported.”

Why did you choose this particular challenge?


“Dad lived in Scotland on the West Coast so it felt right to do it in Scotland. I’m hoping that my brother who lives in Scotland will come and do the first leg with me as it would be lovely for dad to see us both together doing it. My dad lives in Norfolk near me and I see him a few times a week. His partner cares for him and they also have some support from carers twice a week. I want him to know how much I love him and what an inspiration he has always been to me.”


How have you been preparing for this challenge?

“I’ve been doing 10-mile hikes across the coast and countryside around Norfolk. I tend to do around 15,000 to 16,000 steps a day at work too at Briarswood in Harleston. It will take me about six days to do this challenge.”


What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

“Peace and quiet, the countryside and scenery, the lakes and natural beauty of the landscape, while raising much needed funds.


“The West Highland Way runs from north Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. There are red deer, goats and there may event be golden eagles, ospreys and falcons too. The attraction of walking the West Highland Way lies in walking out of a big city, before reaching the Trossachs National Park. It passes by the side of Loch Lomond too.”


Have you ever done a challenge like this before?

“I took on Hadrian’s Wall in 2021 to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK, in memory of my mum. For that challenge I walked 84 miles from Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast to Wallsend on the east coast.”


What do you think the biggest obstacle will be?

“The Scottish weather being unpredictable and difficult terrains.”


What’s next after this?

“I’m very close to Kynleigh Parker and so I may do something for Endometriosis. She has been an absolute inspiration to me.”


Graeme has already raised his target of £2,000 but would love to see more donations so he can raise even more funds for the charity. To donate click here.