FROM Stirling to the Outer Hebrides, people who are affected by dementia will enjoy greater support thanks to £100,000 funding from the William Grant Foundation, working in partnership with the Life Changes Trust.
The money will be used to add further value to eight dementia friendly communities that are already making a difference across Scotland, including Paths for All who are launching a project in Stirling.
It will allow the organisation to develop something new that focuses on a public park in the city, working with people living with dementia and their carers to explore how it can be made more accessible.
Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said: "Dementia Friendly Communities work to make sure that people living with dementia and their carers do not become cut off from the places and people they know and love.
"They enable them to remain integrated in society, live as independently as possible and participate actively in decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.
"This extra funding from the William Grant Foundation will help Paths for All extend their reach and benefit even more people whose lives are affected by dementia."
Nick Addington, chief executive of the William Grant Foundation said: "We are interested in how people can be supported to live well with dementia, and believe that community connections and relationships are key to this.
"Dementia Friendly Communities are therefore a good place to start for our foundation, as we begin funding projects in this space.
"Partnering with the Life Changes Trust and the projects they already fund around Scotland gives us a fast track to learning about what’s already happening, while giving several effective organisations the chance to try out some new ideas with our funds."
Kings Park in Stirling has a range of features including a variety of tarmac and beaten paths, a playpark, a Peace of Mind Garden, outdoor gym equipment, benches, toilets and a seasonal café.
It is located close to the city centre, near to the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, and has views of Stirling Castle and is easily accessed by car and public transport.
Based on discussion with the local walking group, Stirling Walking Network and similar projects across the country, Paths for All have identified a number of ways in which the park could be more accessible to people living with dementia.
This includes better signage, improvement to path and planting areas, easy to navigate infrastructures, as well as park based dementia friendly events and activities.
Park staff and volunteers would also benefit from dementia friendly training.
The Life Changes Trust invested £300,000 in Paths for All in 2015, to help ensure that that everyone affected by dementia also had the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of outdoor walking, improve their health and well-being and be part of a wider community.
Through their Dementia Friendly Walking project, the organisation encourages people to be more active by joining weekly health walks, where they have opportunities to be part of something that is meaningful to them, as well as participate in healthy, stimulating activities.
Volunteer walk leaders are fully trained in making the events dementia friendly, which means that carers are also able to have some respite time.