The Walking Programme

Watch our podcast with Dr. Jitka Vseteckova from the Open University explaining The Walking Programme.

It is great for all of us to get outdoors and to keep active. But for many reasons it's not so easy when we get older, and it can be especially challenging for people living with dementia for many reasons. This is why The Parks Trust and the Open University have come together to evaluate the new initiative, the 5 Ways Cafe. The cafe is based at St. Andrew's Church in Great Linford once a month, and offers coffee, company and conversation to people living with dementia and their families, as well as a gentle guided walk around the beautiful grounds of the Manor Park.

A research team based at The Open University, led by Dr Jitka Vseteckova, were invited to evaluate the impact of these guided walks on the attendees who are living with dementia. The aim is to understand how to keep people living with dementia and their carers engaged with walking and the outdoor environment as we know this is so beneficial to our wellbeing. We want to understand what the barriers and facilitators are to engagement with these walks and how regular attendance can be facilitated.

  • Why is going for a walk challenging for people living with dementia and their carers?
  • Knowing how beneficial walking is for our health, how can we make it easier for people with dementia and their carers to go for a walk outdoors?
  • How can we encourage people with dementia and their families and carers to walk outdoors regularly?

*Due to Covid-19 the 5 Ways Cafe is temporarily on pause, but we hope to start up a series of dementia-friendly walks at Great Linford Manor Park very soon!*

Follow Dr Jitka Vseteckova on Twitter @JitkaVseteckova.

Discover our parks

  • Great Linford Manor Park


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    Great Linford Manor Park is a special, heritage-rich park set within the old village of Great Linford. It contains features that were first laid out centuries ago, including ponds and a Wilderness Garden which represent the English Landscape style of garden design that became popular for country estates during the 18th Century.

    Refreshments and food can be found nearby at The Black Horse and the Nag’s Head which are open for lunch and supper. Milton Keynes Arts Centre has a small café where drinks can be purchased.