Instinctively Wild was awarded £15,000 funding to run from 2018 to 2020.
This project will deliver woodland activities, based in Wooplaw Community Woodland, for people living with early onset dementia.
Many people with dementia find that, because of difficulties associated with their illness, they have fewer opportunities to participate in the outdoor interests they once enjoyed. As well as missing out on the associated health and social benefits, this can also lead to a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. This project addresses this by building a programme of activities based in the local countryside that involves people with dementia in weekly outdoor sessions.
Each session includes a walk, music and singing with a local musician, learning about the woodlands themselves, collecting nature objects and having a blether over a cup of tea – with additional activities each week. This project uses the sensory experiences of nature to rekindle the memories of people living with dementia. Activities involve the use of smells, sights, sounds, touch and taste of nature to trigger memories. Each session is tailored to each individual’s experiences and feelings.
The project aims to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of participants, and also provide opportunities for social interaction and the development of supportive relationships. The project also supports the development of relationships between carers, encouraging them to come together to take part in activities for themselves.