Houghton Regis mum walking 10 miles after being inspired by friend with dementia


A determined Houghton Regis woman is walking 10 miles for charity after seeing first hand how cruel dementia can be.

Canasta Tiffin, 43, is taking on her charity challenge for Dementia UK, which provides Admiral Nurses to give specialist support to families.



The kind-hearted mum was inspired to help because a local lady she used to clean for, named Sheila, aged 86, is fighting the illness and had to move into a care home.

Canasta said: “I worked for a lovely couple named Richard and Sheila for two years.

“Earlier this year, Richard sadly lost his battle to COPD and I walked 10 miles in his memory and raised £100 for the British Lung Foundation.

“Before I worked for them, I never knew anybody who had dementia. I learnt how rapidly people can get worse.

“It was nice when she could talk about the past, but other times they don’t realise what they said from one minute to the next.

“It’s frightening how fast it can take affect and it makes you appreciate your health, and what you have in life. I’m doing this for Sheila and other people living with dementia.”

Sheila now has 24-hour specialist care, and Canasta’s walk around the Houghton Regis and Dunstable area will incorporate a route via Dunstable Downs, where Sheila used to like to go with Richard and their daughter.

The challenge will take place on October 29, and Canasta is hoping to raise £100 for Dementia UK.

She would like to thank everyone for their support, and said she will be thinking of her favourite memories of Sheila as she goes round the town, including Sheila’s love of Snickers bars before bed, and her penchant for bananas dipped in sugar.

Canasta said: “We had a nice friendship, even though she didn’t recognise me sometimes, and she would thank me for coming.”

Canasta lives in Houghton Regis with her partner David, 47, and daughter Ruby, 13.

To donate, search ‘Canasta Tiffin’ on Virgin Money Giving.