Dementia Friendly Volunteer Walk Leaders support Alzheimer Scotland’s fundraising Memory Walks

Building local community links between people living with dementia, their families, carers, support charities, and health professionals is a key feature of a successful Dementia Friendly Health Walk.

Bums off Seats, Health Walk, Dalgety Bay, Fife

Walking for Health project, Bums off Seats who have 42 Health Walks across Fife, including 15 Dementia Friendly Health Walks, have helped Alzheimer Scotland organise their fundraising Memory Walks in Lochore Meadows Country Park, Fife since 2014.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Memory Walks have been an opportunity for friends and family to come together and show their support for people living with dementia while raising vital funds for Alzheimer Scotland.

Bums off Seats project coordinator, Vivienne McNiven along with her team of nine walkers and Volunteer Walk Leaders have assisted the Fife Memory Walk by:

  • carrying out the risk assessment
  • producing the route map
  • placing signs around the route
  • providing first aid marshals along the route
  • providing a first aid trained back walker, and
  • removing all the signs at the end of the walk.
     

Supporting their local Memory Walk offered Bums off Seats many benefits including:

  • showcasing the transferrable skills and expertise of their Volunteer Walk Leaders
  • highlighting their comprehensive Health Walk network across Fife to new audiences
  • developing partnerships with their local Alzheimer Scotland branch
  • helping to raise funds for activities for their walkers living with dementia
  • raising the profile of dementia support services across Fife
  • offering more social opportunities for walkers and volunteers to make them feel more connected to their community
  • celebrating their Dementia Friendly Walking team’s achievements.
     

There will be no Memory Walks this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Vivienne would encourage other Walking for Health projects to consider getting involved with any future local Memory Walks. She said:

Helping out at an Alzheimer Scotland Memory Walk has been a great way to celebrate the fantastic work of our Dementia Friendly walking groups who support people living with the condition to enjoy fresh air and company every week.

It is definitely a great way to showcase your walk program and get known more widely in your community. It helped to raise the profile of our Dementia Friendly Walking groups with several new walkers joining our weekly walks.  

It is a lovely event where we have encouraged all the care homes, we work with, to join in too. It definitely helps to strengthen the working relationship we have with Alzheimer Scotland.

During 2020 Alzheimer Scotland planned to organise 14 Memory Walks in scenic locations across Scotland to fundraise for their services and to help people remember their loved ones. Instead, they are encouraging people to enjoy a virtual Memory Walk on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September. Find out more here.

Regular walking offers many benefits for people living with dementia, such as:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Stronger muscles and flexible joints
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved memory, confidence, and mood
  • Maintenance of independence and functional fitness for longer
     

Find out more about Health Walks with Bums off Seats in Fife on our website

Find out more about Dementia Friendly Walking