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Three Upper Clutha women leapt to the top of a national teams leaderboard this week, as they began a month-long exercise campaign to raise funds for people living with dementia conditions.

Lindsey Schofield, Jo Shearer and Robyn Brighouse formed Wanaka Movers: Just 30 Minutes to highlight that 30 minutes of exercise a day is good for the brain.

They raised more than $1500 in their first five days.

Mindful about moving . . . Jo Shearer of Lake Hawea, is taking part in a fundraiser for Dementia awareness in September. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Their activities are posted daily on a web page and once Alert Level 2 is reached, they hope to exercise with friends, and possibly even exceed 30 minutes some days.

The fundraiser is for Alzheimers New Zealand. Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting about two-thirds of people who develop dementia.

Ms Schofield said it was a very personal fundraiser for her, because her 89-year-old mother was living with advanced Alzheimer’s in residential care in the United Kingdom.

“I haven’t seen her for two years due to Covid. We do Zoom but she doesn’t know any of her family any more. It has been heartbreaking for us all to see her decline, so I jumped at the opportunity to raise some funds,” she said.

According to the Alzheimers New Zealand website, lifestyle factors that may decrease susceptibility to dementia include exercise, eating well, and continued learning.

More information about the Wanaka Movers group is available online.