Nature Therapy Breaks
A story by East Ayrshire Leisure
Nature Therapy Breaks planned to provide two weekend breaks at Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock with therapeutic and nature-themed activities for carers of people living with dementia.
There were a few factors that affected this project that meant that it was not able to go ahead.
What Nature Therapy Breaks did
We planned to deliver two weekend breaks with therapeutic and nature-themed activities and our planned beneficiaries were carers of people living with dementia based in Ayrshire. Alzheimer Scotland worked with us to recruit suitable participants from their client group.
Partnership working was key to this project with Alzheimer Scotland able to provide the contact with the carers, advise on their interests and aid with consultation as well as providing stress-free replacement care with AS staff who were well-known to those who required care.
Priority areas, from our planned timetable, we had a well-rounded package of activities to deliver with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, skills learning, new experiences and mindfulness techniques for the carers to take back to everyday life after the break. The project was cancelled the day before the first weekend break due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Unfortunately we were too close to the project's extended deadline to re-arrange the breaks for another time.
What East Ayrshire Leisure has learned
Project planning and budgeting is key, and developing new short breaks activities as well as solid partnership working.
How East Ayrshire Leisure has benefitted from the funding
Despite not being able to deliver the breaks, East Ayrshire Leisure has benefited from planning the breaks by forming stronger links with our partners Alzheimer Scotland and learning more about expanding and enhancing our services to cater for those living with dementia and their carers, a demographic with which we do not otherwise interact much. We also made valuable connections in the facilitators we had arranged to deliver some of the activities, which we may be able to utilise in the future. Among staff, we built our project management skills and partnership working skills.