Health walks boost activity at Doncaster fire station ‘memory cafe’

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Older people in Doncaster are boosting their health thanks to a fire station based walking scheme.

Adwick fire station at Quarry Lane, Woodlands hosts a monthly ‘memory cafe’ as part of a partnership launched last year between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The events, held once each month on a Thursday afternoon, provide an opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to meet in a safe, managed environment and to take part in activities to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

Now, fire service staff have helped participants on a guided ‘health walk’- a 30 minute stroll in the vicinity of the fire station as a way of boosting physical activity amongst older people.

Officers believe the project benefits the fire service by providing a vital link with one of its key target groups in terms of vulnerability to fire. They think the partnership also highlights the growing role the fire service can play in promoting health and wellbeing in the communities it serves.

Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “We believe the fire service can play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future. The memory cafe and the associated health walks are the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where fire service resources are helping to improve the lives of one of the most vulnerable groups in society.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue is also a member of the Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Alliance, which is committed to tackling the growing issue of dementia within our communities.

Hundreds of its staff have also signed up to become Dementia Friends- a Government backed initiative which teaches people a more about what it’s like to live with dementia, and then turns that understanding into action.