A DETERMINED woman from Thatcham is calling for residents across Berkshire to unite in a sponsored walk.

Taking place at Welford Park in Newbury on April 28, the Walk for Parkinson's event is one of 45 across the UK.

The walks are set to raise more than £600,000 for charity Parkinson’s UK’s pioneering research to find better treatments and a cure for the condition.

Abi Witting, 44, has signed up to take part in the walk after the death of her close family friend last year, who had Parkinson’s.

She hopes that local people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels will join them on the day.

Abi said: "Steve was diagnosed with Parkinson's five years ago and he passed away after developing Parkinson's dementia.

"He was the closest thing I had to an uncle and I always went to him for help and support.

"I'm taking part in Walk for Parkinson's in his memory and I want to raise awareness of the condition and money for a cure."

The family friendly event includes a 2.5-mile and 6.5-mile route around Welford Park Estate, home to the Great British Bake Off.

Walkers will be able to cross the River Lambourn and explore the woodland and surrounding countryside.

One in 37 of people are diagnosed with Parkinson's, the neurological condition which affects people of all ages and has more than 40 symptoms including tremor, loss of mobility and dementia.

Over the past four years, Walk for Parkinson's fundraisers have raised more than £1.5 million for Parkinson’s UK, and the charity believes that scientists could now be on the verge of a major breakthrough.

Dave Clark, Sky Sports presenter and champion of the charity, was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2011 at the age of 44.

Dave is a keen walker himself and he is joining Abi in asking people to take part in the walk.

He said: "Parkinson’s UK's pioneering research gives me hope that we will find a cure for this brutal condition, and we're now on the verge of major research breakthroughs that could end Parkinson's for good.

"So whatever your age or ability, please sign up to Walk for Parkinson's at Welford Park and be part of the final push to find a cure."

The registration fee for the event is £12 for adults and £5 for under 16s, with team discounts available.

Everyone who registers will receive a free Parkinson’s UK t-shirt, fundraising pack and at the end of the walk, a finisher’s medal.

Walkers should aim to raise a minimum of £50 in sponsorship.

To sign up to the walk, or to find out more, visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/walkwelfordpark, call 020 7963 3912, or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk.