A young baker who whisked up more than £1,000 for charity will swap the kitchen for a leading role at an annual Memory Walk.

Connie Gray, 10, has been asked to open this year’s Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk at Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and is calling for others to unite and join her at the event on Sunday.

She will also be joined by winners of BBC The Apprentice – series eight and 10 – Ricky Martin and Mark Wright, who are both supporters of Alzheimer’s Society.

There are nearly 2,400 people already signed up to take part, and like Connie who will be walking in memory of her great-grandad, each person will have their own special reason.

Connie, who will join the rest of her family, from Southend, said: “I never expected to be asked to open the walk so I’m really excited.

“I just want to help in any way I can. I took part in Cupcake Day earlier this year and helped raise over a thousand pounds for the Alzheimer’s Society. My best memory of grandad was that he liked eating fudge, he’d always have a bag of it.”

Connie’s nan, Jean Longhurst, will join her great-granddaughter on the day. Her husband Cyril was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia and died in 2015 at the age of 79 – one year away from their 60th wedding anniversary.

Describing how dementia slowly striped her husband of memories, relationships and identities, Jean said: “It was very hard watching him live with dementia, the worst part was seeing the gradual decline and trying to embrace the reality he was starting to live in.

“His hobby was building model airplanes and ships. He’d spend hours at a time doing them even before his diagnosis. It did become more difficult as the condition progressed but we just tried to adapt and help him to continue for as long as possible.

“I remember one particular piece which constantly broke and Cyril would repair it but the repetitive cycle continued because he could never remember doing it in the first place. Rather than getting cross we just embraced it and made it our normal.

“Being a carer for him was very hard and tiring at times. I couldn’t leave him for long as he would wander off. It got to a point where I hid keys and kept doors locked, especially at night as he didn’t sleep much and would stay up.”

Speaking about the Chelmsford Memory Walk, which will see four generations of Jean’s family come together, she said: “I’m bursting with pride that Connie will open the walk, she’s such a caring little girl and her grandad would be so proud.”

Register at memorywalk.org.uk.