Leisure centres welcome dementia-friendly initiative

We are launching a dementia initiative which will see us deliver dementia-friendly health classes in our leisure centres.

We have already been recognised for our efforts to make one of our leisure facilities accessible for people living with dementia and recently received official dementia-friendly status for Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre, Glenrothes.

As part of the Dementia Friendly Glenrothes project, an initiative between Fife Health and Social Partnership, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, Active Fife, Alzheimer Scotland, Fife Forum and Fife Cultural Trust, with support from Fife Council local area committee, staff at Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre received awareness sessions from Alzheimer Scotland, the country’s leading dementia organisation.

A year on from the training, staff have a better awareness of dementia, those living with it, their carers and families,  ensuring facilities and services are made more dementia friendly. In addition, a member of staff was appointed as a dementia lead for the centre.

Thanks to the success at Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre, the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has awarded us funding to create dementia-friendly health classes which will see specially-designed physical activity classes delivered by our health and physical activity team beginning this month.  And, we will roll out the dementia-friendly model to our other centres across Fife with training from Alzheimer Scotland over the next 12 months.

Fiona Prendergast, health and wellbeing co-ordinator for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust said: “The Trust’s health and wellbeing team have a long-established health programme which delivers physical activity classes to those living with long-term health conditions so we are very pleased to be able to offer classes specifically for people with dementia.

“The work at Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre has been inspirational and the Trust is keen to replicate this in its other centres as part of its commitment to widening access to physical activity opportunities for all the communities of Fife.”

Louise Bell, service manager, Older People's Services, Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Fife Sports and Leisure Trust to ensure that people with dementia can continue to access sports and leisure facilities and remain physically active, promoting their health and well being.”