P4W has been leading and supporting health-walks in Highland for 15 years - during that time we have welcomed many people to begin regular walking. We currently have 34 health-walk groups with hundreds of regular walkers and within that number there are regular walkers with a dementia diagnosis.

We are very pleased to be working with a number of our walking groups to make our health-walks more effectively aimed at people with dementia, and very importantly, with their carers too. This work is supported with funding from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Along with Life Changes Trust we are also working alongside Alzheimer Scotland, Evanton Wood Community Woodland and our friends at NHS Highland and Paths for All to reach out to more people affected by dementia, give them opportunities for an active lifestyle and to make new friends.

There are approximately 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia, a significant number of those people will live in Highland. Here at P4W we know all about the benefits of exercise through health-walking as we see it all the time - we know that health-walks benefit physical health, but we also know that it is a brilliant way of reducing loneliness and meeting new people through building community connections. We want to make our health-walks available to more people who will benefit from them, enabling an improved quality of life for all.

The initial phase of our work is centred on walking groups able to access the Evanton Community Woodland, the first dementia friendly woodland in Scotland. We are working with walking groups to provide additional training to our volunteer walk leaders while we work with colleagues at the woodland so that we can offer walks and other opportunities of interest to people who would like to be involved. Not all of the health-walks will be at Evanton and groups will be looking to continue health-walks in a range of local settings.

            

Along with health-walks our P4W Transport service has been supporting people with dementia for a number of years - this is an Inverness service that makes it possible for hundreds of local people to attend health and social care related appointments. We currently support people to attend GP's, dentists, opticians, physiotherapy etc - we also take people to day care centres such as Woodlands in Inverness.

Along with our current work with Life Changes Trust we are also continuing our long running partnership with Paths for All through a Dementia Friendly Walking Grant. We are extremely grateful for this support and for the additional work that it will enable us to do.