Medical practice strengthens its offer to patients and the community

A GP practice in the Trossachs is offering the local community more ways to stay active and well thanks to new strength and balance panels on display in its grounds.

L-R: Physiotherapist - Ann Stevens, Cathy Scott - Volunteer Walk Leader and Strength and Balance Demonstrator, Kath Millar - Volunteer Walk Leader and Strength and Balance Demonstrator, and Dr Robert Scott

Callander Medical Practice is now home to a set of new outdoor panels which show people how to perform simple movements to improve their strength, balance and coordination.

Created to promote our Strength and Balance programme, the wooden posts feature support handles and panels that display dementia-friendly instructions along with illustrations that can help improve strength, balance and overall confidence in movement.

With funding support from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (LLTNP) and Impact Funding Partners, it’s the first time the panels have been on display at a GP practice in Scotland.

The panels were officially unveiled last week by practice staff, walkers and volunteers from Callander’s Walk in the Park Health Walk group and Strength and Balance sessions.

Karen Brown, Callander Medical Practice Manager said:

It is really important for us to encourage patients to get moving. This equipment is free to use and accessible 24/7.  We will be doing all we can to encourage the patients to give it a go and get moving.

We are really grateful for the opportunity to be the first GP practice in Scotland to get involved and host the equipment. It’s a real bonus for our patients.

Our physiotherapy team are also excited and aim to use it as part of their treatment of the patients at the practice. It’s a fantastic asset in the patients’ recovery.

We support the delivery of over 850 Health Walks across Scotland, 155 of which are dementia friendly.

Health Walks are short, low-level, free, and social and are led by trained volunteer Walk Leaders.

Our Strength and Balance programme supports Health Walk Leaders and health and social care professionals to learn simple strength exercises alongside advice on walking to help adults stay active and independent.

Individuals at the launch try out the Strength and Balance exercises.

Kirsty Rankin, our Walking for Health Manager said:

It’s absolutely fantastic that our strength and balance outdoor panels have such a prominent place in the community of Callander.

We hope this will help to raise the profile of how important strength and balance is and give local residents the opportunity to learn a few simple movements that they can do anywhere.

Thank you to NHS Forth Valley Estates team for providing the installation in-kind and for carrying out remedial works on-site.

We believe that regular walking coupled with strength and balance provide the key to an active, happy and healthy older age.

The latest UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines recommend adults over 65 should take part in activity that improves balance and coordination twice each week.

That’s why many of our Health Walks promote strength and balance movements that can be done during a walk or at home using our take-home cue cards.

Community project Walk in the Park delivered by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Countryside Trust is a programme of weekly Health Walks and Strength and Balance sessions providing local opportunities for people to explore the National Park, to become physically active and improve their health and wellbeing.

Walks delivered locally include walks in Arrochar and Tarbet, Balloch, Drymen and Croftamie, Aberfoyle, Callander and Killin and are inclusive of people living with dementia.

Walk in the Park aims to introduce those who are recovering from illness or those who have experienced periods of inactivity back into gentle exercise.

Fran Crumley, Senior Health Walk Coordinator for Walk in the Park said:

This is a great community resource not only for patients but friends and families of all ages. Strength and Balance activities like these are key in the wider physical agenda and that’s why it forms a huge part of the Walk in the Park programme.

The installation of these panels highlight the powers of partnership to help engage and improve people's mobility to help retain their independence.

For more information or to find our local Health Walk visit:

To buy Strength and Balance resources, visit