For the past few years I have been promising myself - and my good lady - that I would step down from various committees and to a certain extent I have managed to do so.

Faced with journeys to the other end of the world to see the Australian and American families, and the 'occasional' jaunt to Costa del Sol, it seemed the sensible conclusion for a pensioner couple.

However, I did find myself joining a new organisation due to a combination of circumstances. I was still on the community council when we were asked if we would be represented on the Dementia Friendly Largs and District group, set up by fellow councillors Robbie Stevenson and Linda Smith.

At the time I was a 'mentor' for my long-time pal Peter, who was living with the onset of Alzheimer's disease. I would take him up to the weekly walking football sessions at Inverclyde Sports Centre and, to be honest, although he didn't know which way he was kicking, Peter would always say to me: "This is fantastic."

He was warmly welcomed by all the guys at the club, particularly at the coffee session and chat in the centre cafe after the games.

I also included him in a musical show called Invisible, which revolved around those with ABI - Acquired Brain Injury - and, as someone who had sung and played guitar all of his life, Peter fitted in to the rehearsals and live shows.

It gave me a bit of an insight into how dementia did not necessarily stop a sociable person in their tracks. He could still get out of the house to participate in sport and music. 

Tragically, the madness of Covid lockdowns put an end to Peter's freedom, and a deteriorating condition resulted in his death.

So it was that I was part of the Dementia Friendly Committee which organised the first ever Largs Memory Walk at Barrfields Park recently to pay respects to those with the disease.

In spite of a typical Scottish wet and windy day scores of folk turned up to take part in the laps around the ground.

Last week the group handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Linda Ross of Alzheimer Scotland (pictured) - money donated by the community, including Mary Grant and family.

Our committee has also boosted its funds to continue the good work in helping local people and families affected by the ever-growing illness. More booklets, help tubs, activity sessions and musical memory events will be financed.

Organiser Christine Malcolmson ran an amazing Memory Bus day where dozens of people experienced a virtual reality of what it is like to have dementia. In my experiment I kept bumping into the fridge door, looking for the beer presumably. It was so successful that another one will be held.

Such is the growing influence of the committee that I am reliably informed that Santa Claus has been booked for special visits to local care homes at Christmas. There will also be a tombola table at Largs Yuletide.

Watch out too for the formation of a Befriending group, and here's something you didn't know.  The Dementia Friendly Committee has furnished the First Responders and Fire & Rescue with 50 Carbon Monoxide alarms. These will be installed free of charge to homes meeting simple eligibility criteria.

Contact to find out more.

Thought for the Week: In life it's important to know when to stop arguing with someone and just let them be wrong.

The seasonal increase in mortality for Scotland was "considerably higher" for 2022-23 than the previous year, it has been officially reported, but was lower than both the winters of 2017-18 and, significantly, the Covid pandemic of 2020-21.

The cause of death with the largest seasonal increase was actually dementia and Alzheimer's disease accounting for 640 additional deaths. In comparison there were 310 additional deaths as a result of Covid-19.

Speaking like a true 'expert', Daniel Burns, head of vital events statistics for the National Records of Scotland, said the increase in winter deaths "may be partly driven" by Scotland's ageing population.

No kidding, Sherlock.