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Go for a 'Walk with Ralph'

Release Date: 18 December 2019

Residents with dementia and their carers can now attend a monthly walk in a local park with a friendly Pets as Therapy dog.

'Walk with Ralph' is part of the Council’s Friendly Parks for All programme, which has a focus on making our parks suitable for all residents in the borough. Particular emphasis is placed upon those with dementia, as evidence shows leading a physically active life, even in the latter stages of dementia, can have a significant impact on a person's wellbeing.

Walk with Ralph is a monthly local walk in Kneller Gardens with a behaviourally assessed dog. Pet Therapy is becoming more and more recognised across the country as a way of supporting people with dementia where pets can help improve people’s mood, encourage social interaction, can have a calming effect and reduce challenging behaviours.

This free guided walk will encourage increased physical activity, along with the opportunity to meet new people and spend time enjoying nature. The walk includes an opportunity to touch and stroke a friendly animal and is suitable for people in wheel chairs and with limited mobility.

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sport Committee, said:

"In winter it is important to make time to get outside and these walks are designed to make it easy and accessible for everyone to do so. They are also a lot of fun and an opportunity to spend time with others and even in winter there is plenty of nature to see."

For more information about the next walk or to register, email parks@richmond.gov.uk.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Fenna Maynard on 020 8487 5182.

Reference: P411/19

Updated: 02 December 2020