Dementia Adventure, Reading Voluntary Action and The Caversham teamed up to organise, plan and run a wellbeing walk training event as part of the Thriving Communities Project.
Based on his experience of sensory walks and outdoor experiences with those living with dementia, Gordon Malcolm from Dementia Adventure proved to participants that wellbeing walks are of benefit to all. Chris Brooks, a leader of Sonning Common Health walks for 15 years, outlined the practical aspects of leading a walk, leaving no stone unturned!
Informative, interesting, colourful – the training course took place at The Caversham, the view across the golf course providing a connection with nature from the outset.
Participants were taken on an extraordinary journey – covering co-production, health and wellbeing benefits, communication strategies, inclusive locations, enabling experiences, managing risk and planning successful sensory walks.
Smelling mint and rosemary to evoke memories added to the ever-increasing energy in the room. Listening to stories, watching videos, seeing a picture of how the brain reacts to a walk, understanding the role of the amygdala all brought the importance of connecting with nature alive, the essence of a walk being engagement.
Managing Risk was introduced by examining the health and welfare benefits – the positive aspects outweighed the necessary paperwork and planning – health and safety of paramount importance. Tools, tips and templates and a comprehensive checklist were shared and discussed.
Delegates responded enthusiastically when asked to describe the session:
- ‘This was a very empowering course, passionate, revealing and realistic.’
- ‘Brilliant, really engaging, informative and lots of participation.’
- ‘High quality, professional, informative and developmental.’
More information on Dementia Adventure and its activities can be found at www.dementiaadventure.co.uk.