Roger's Walk & Talks

I'm the volunteer who organises the country walks for YoungDementia UK.  We call these outings a 'Walk & Talk' because they're more about the talking than the walking.  Each walk is open to anyone, and typically we get both halves of a couple coming along.  It's very easy for people to get stuck indoors at home, becoming isolated, and people love the opportunity to stroll along and talk freely with others who understand what they're going through.

We always have a Young Onset Demetnia Advisor from YoungDementia UK come along to offer professional advice or to suggest possible sources of help, while I'm happy to chat with anyone about anything.

Each walk is a gentle stroll of between 2 to 3 miles.  I organise them as countryside walks in different parts of Oxfordshire.  I avoid stiles because members may have visual problems and others couldn't balance if trying to climb over.

I start from a car park with loos, ideally at a pub or hotel or garden centre, because after the walk those who are happy to stay on (most people) can have a coffee or a light lunch and continue talking.  These requirements are quite difficult to meet, and I've gradually found about half a dozen short routes that are suitable.

We do a walk once a month in summer (May to October, except for July when we have our garden party, which is ideal for chatting anyway).  I also organise a walk in January from a local garden centre, which is practical only because it's mostly on hard surfaces, avoiding the winter mud.   I do one in March and sometimes it's washed out due to heavy rain (more so than the January one) - again I do a route with mostly hard surfaces to avoid mud.  So we have walks seven times a year.  We meet up at 11.00am, but I always wait for around 15 minutes in case someone is stuck in traffic.  

Roger, August 2017 

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