A project which provides a one-to-one volunteer support for individuals living with dementia is on the lookout for more people to get involved – and particularly those living in Barrhead.

East Renfrewshire Carers Centre (ERCC) have been piloting the Dementia Walking Buddies (DWB) project since June thanks to a funding award through Shared Care Scotland.

The project allows participants to attend a health and wellbeing walk, an activity which not only benefits the person living with dementia, but also give their carer some time for themselves.

Participants are carefully matched with a friendly and trained volunteer based on shared hobbies and interests and are visited once a week at home by them before heading out on a walk and being returned back home safely.

Barrhead News:

Farah Maiza, volunteer co-ordinator with DWB, told the Barrhead News: “Many people living with dementia have difficulty negotiating walks and could benefit from some company and support.

“DWB offers participants a range of benefits, including improved confidence and communication skills, plus increased mobility and fitness.

“In addition, participants feel they have something to contribute to their community by sharing knowledge through conversation.”

Barrhead News:

At the moment, six participants and their carers and a host of volunteers are benefitting from taking part in the pilot which is running for 12 months.

Farah is particularly keen to sign up more participants from Barrhead as a lot of the volunteers live there and it would be “handy for them to have people who live in the area.”

To benefit from the service, which is free, the participant and their carer need to live under the same roof in East Renfrewshire.

The participant is also required to have good mobility.

The service also requires volunteer support and those who give up their time to help will receive free training, ongoing support and expenses.

“It’s a very rewarding position and the time you are able to spare each week is open for discussion,” added Farah.

If you think a dementia walking buddy might be for you or someone you know or if you would like to volunteer your time as a walker, send an email to farah@eastrenfrewshirecarers.co.uk or call 0746 707 0169.