Dementia Naturally Active

We worked with people living with dementia and their carers and families, helping to improve their physical and mental wellbeing and develop social cohesion.

In partnership with Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society and Salford Institute of Dementia, City of Trees developed and delivered a year-long programme entitled Dementia Naturally Active for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

This programme comprised a series of outdoor and indoor nature-based activities with a focus on improving health and wellbeing. Activities included walking, low-level practical conservation, woodland crafts and adapted cycling.

The project, which was funded through a grant from the Joint Health and Wellbeing Innovation Fund, recognised that there was a distinct lack of opportunities for people living with dementia to participate in recreational and practical conservation activities. Building on a body of research highlighting the benefits of such activities, participants were able to engage in sessions such as tree planting, building nest boxes, creating wild flower areas and basic woodland management.

In partnership with Cycling Projects, participants were also able to benefit from regular cycling using specially adapted bicycles.

Over the course of the year (2016) and 29 sessions, we worked with over 250 visitors and carers.

Comments included: 

“Absolutely wonderful. Couldn’t get my 91 year old father away – he tried everything.” and “Coming here makes a difference. Normally I’m not doing anything so it’s good to do something.”.

Jean Mann – Age UK, Salford Dementia Services said; "Events like this really contribute to the quality of life for our service users and their families.”

We hope to continue this project in 2017.