Evanton Wood Community Company
The aim of this project is to design and develop a two year programme of outdoor activities for people living with dementia in areas surrounding Evanton Wood, near Dingwall. Activities will be chosen and co-designed by the participants themselves. The project will help establish the site as a truly dementia friendly woodland.
Evanton Community Wood is a 65 hectare woodland in the Scottish Highlands owned and managed by the community through the Evanton Wood Community Company.
The wood is regularly visited by many different user groups of all ages ranging from nursery to pensioner age. The woodlands has a wide variety of habitats within its boundaries and offer an ever changing, sustainable resource that can accommodate many diverse activities and engagement options.
The wood is also ideally placed to allow easy access for those living with dementia from a number of surrounding settlements, many of which rank low on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and suffer from limited local services.
Working in partnership with local Alzheimer Scotland staff and specialists in outdoor learning and crafts, this funding will be used to deliver a programme of weekly outdoor activity sessions for people living with dementia. Sessions will provide participants the opportunity to explore, take part in different activities, socialise and engage with other community groups within a woodland setting.
People living with dementia will be extensively involved in the development of the content for each session through engagement with local care centres and dementia groups. Participants will also have choice over the activities they wish to take part in at each session, with activities tailored to suit each individual’s own goals and capabilities.
Seasonal changes will allow for different creative experiences and Evanton will draw on its pool of skilled facilitators to help gain the most from the changing seasons. This will include the involvement of:
- Green woodworking practitioners
- Community artists
- Environmental artists
- Environmental education practitioners
- Healthy walking leaders
To get a flavour of this inspiring project, have a look at this short film showcasing the great work going on at Evanton Community Wood:
Evanton Community Wood won a Dementia Friendly Environments Recognition Award from Paths for All, in March 2019.
Outcomes we'd like to see
With this project, we would like to see more opportunities for people living with dementia to take part in regular outdoor activity, leading to:
- Increased physical activity and improved physical and mental well-being
- Increased confidence and participation in community
- A reduction in loneliness
For more information about Evanton Wood Community Company, visit their website: www.evantonwood.com/