Dementia friendly walks at Belfairs Woodland Centre

Belfairs Woodland Centre is helping to get people living with dementia outside in nature.

Belfairs Woodland Centre has been working with Southend Borough Council to provide easy access to the Essex countryside for people who are living with dementia.

Being outside in nature is vital for everyone's health and wellbeing. The Alzheimer's Society recommends 30 minutes of activity per day at least five times a week to keep a level of fitness and independence and help to boost people's overall mood and wellbeing. 

Essex Wildlife Trust volunteers were given dementia friend training and two guided walk events have been held so far, in October and January. The event reached maximum numbers, with 15 people joining on the 45 minute guided walk and then returning to the visitor centre for a piece of cake and a hot cup of tea. Feedback from the events have been extremely popular - with people saying they had previously enjoyed walking but hadn't felt confident enough to walk by themselves any longer.

Thanks to funding from Southend Borough Council, we will be running further guided walks and are hoping that these walks will become a regular feature of the Belfairs Woodland Centre calendar. 

The next guided walk event is Monday 15 April from 11am. After the 45 minute guided walk around the nature reserve, there will be tea and coffee and a free piece of cake or a scone with cream and jam for all walkers and their family/carers who have come with them. The walks need to be pre-booked through Southend Council's Dementia Community Support Team on 01702 534772.