Walk and Talk at Heaton Park

Walk and Talk at Heaton Park

The joint project is between charity Red Rose Forest, Alzheimer’s Society and Manchester Giants and involves new weekly walking sessions at Heaton Park for anyone who is affected by dementia, as well as their carers, friends and contacts.

Lucy Holland, Red Rose Forest, comments; “Group walking outdoors is a great way of encouraging physical exercise and touching base with nature. Heaton Park is a great route as it is so accessible and suitable for all walking abilities.

“These walks also give people living with dementia and carers a chance to meet other people, and take part in a fun activity together”

According to Alzheimer’s Society, a number of studies show that in the short term regular exercise can result in improvements in memory and attention span.

Jane Rennie, Dementia Support Worker, Alzheimer’s Society, Manchester comments; “Exercising is beneficial for everyone and for people with dementia it is particularly helpful. Walking is one of the best exercises because it improves circulation, helps prevent stiffness, aids relaxation, promotes a sense of calm and helps ensure a good night’s sleep. Most importantly it reduces anxiety, stress and depression. It’s just so good for you!

“Walking in a group is even better because it provides an opportunity to meet and chat with others in a similar situation.”

As part of the weekly sessions participants will also have a cuppa and a chat in the boating lake, discussing any issues or concerns they may have.

Ambokile Bell, from professional basketball team the Manchester Giants, is involved in the project and comments; “We support all different activities in relation to leading a healthy lifestyle. This project is very valuable due to the personalised, therapeutic element of the ‘walk and talk’ sessions.”

The weekly sessions take place every Thursday morning; meeting at the Sheepfoot Lane entrance of Heaton Park.

Booking is essential; call 0161 342 0797; or email manchester@alzheimers.org.uk

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