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Pioneering dementia project in search for volunteers

A pioneering new pilot helping to improve the lives of people with dementia though physical activity is looking for volunteers.

The Thinking Active project will combine exercise with social stimulation, which evidence suggests could help slow the onset of dementia.

The project has been developed by Staffordshire County Council and will be delivered by four groups of specially trained community groups, which will give people the opportunity to take part in activities designed to stimulate the brain, do some light exercise and socialise over a cup of tea.

Thinking Active invites people with a diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia to join them for 12 free weekly sessions, beginning on 9 January 2017.

Activities will vary from group to group and will be tailored to individual needs. They may range from gentle strolls to chair based exercises for the less mobile, followed by group based social stimulation. Some groups may also be able to offer free activities for carers while they wait.

Sessions will be run by:

  • Age UK South Staffordshire: Penkridge Roller Mill
  • Parkwood Community Leisure: Biddulph Valley Leisure Centre
  • Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles: Chase Leisure Centre
  • Cherry Orchard Gardens for Life (GOGs): Burntwood Memorial Community Centre

County Councillor Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:

“Dementia is one of the biggest issues facing the county council, and can have a devastating impact not only on individuals, but on their family and friends.

Evidence shows that physical activity along with social stimulation could help slow the onset of dementia. With the Thinking Active project, we want to look at how this could improve the lives of people in Staffordshire who are living with dementia, and involve local community groups.

“We will also be working with Staffordshire University, who will be evaluating the success of the project in the hope that along with community groups, we can make a difference to people living with dementia.”

For an informal chat about how you, or someone you care for, can get onto the scheme please call Jude Taylor on 01785 276 637 or jude.taylor@staffordshire.gov.uk