Category Archives: Wellbeing

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Accompanied Walks

A Dose of Vitamin Green – Accompanied Walks at COAM

This autumn lots of over 65s have joined us for an Accompanied Walk. When asked, “On a scale of 1 to 5, did you feel that your mood was happier after the walk than before the walk?”, every single one replied 5 out of 5!

If you have not yet heard about our Accompanied `Walks programme, here is a quick explanation….

The team at Chiltern Open Air Museum recognised that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, difficulties for those members of the elderly community who were already experiencing social isolation, have been exacerbated. To promote and support the health and wellbeing of this sector of our community, we invited individuals and some couples (and some dogs!) to the museum for an accompanied walk with a friendly and knowledgeable COAM volunteer. Walkers were encouraged to invite along a carer or friend for both support and to increase access to the programme. Throughout the experience, Government guidelines on social distancing were followed.

Accompanied Walks

This project, funded by the Sherling Trust, gave visitors the opportunity to enjoy an hour’s walk around the museum and learn about our 37 heritage buildings, gardens, park and woodland. Before heading back home, walkers were offered a cuppa and snack.

In advance of their visit, I asked each walker a few nosey questions so that I could gauge their level of mobility and gain an idea of some of their interests. Armed with this information, I was then able to match the walker to one of the fabulous accompanying COAM volunteers. So, along with the benefits of being out and about in the great outdoors in a beautiful, safe and supported environment, walkers also benefited from lively and engaging conversation.

We couldn’t agree more with the findings of Walking for Heath’s Walking Works report which includes the following findings:

“Walking is the most likely way all adults can achieve the recommended levels of physical activity.”
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

“Being physically active is particularly beneficial for the mental health of older people, improving cognitive functioning, memory, attention and processing speed, reducing symptoms of dementia, improving mood and satisfaction with life, and decreasing feelings of loneliness.”
The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health

Feedback from both the walkers and volunteers involved in the Accompanied Walks programme at COAM has been unanimously positive.

“I accompanied my mother who was a little unsure about going on the walk but she really enjoyed it. We had lovely weather, our volunteer was helpful, kind and very informative. Everyone we met in the walk was kind too. We both really appreciated the opportunity given.” Accompanied Walker

“The whole experience was quite refreshing and in these ‘troubled times’ a little bit of normality…the wonders of being out with nature, good for body and soul!” Accompanied Walker

We hope to offer Accompanied Walks again next year, so if you are interested, 65 years or older and in need a change of scene, for 2021, please email outreach@coam.org.uk supplying your name and telephone number.

Jaqui Gellman
Outreach at COAM


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The Colne Valley Regional Park

Chiltern Open Air Museum is part of the Colne Valley Regional Park. The area boasts beautiful walks and other beauty spots and places to visit. Alex Gaffney, PR and Communications Manager, at the Colne Valley Park Business Centre tells us about what the Regional Park has to offer.

Colne Valley Regional Park

The Colne Valley Regional Park

Forty-three square miles of water, woodland, farmland and villages from Rickmansworth in the North of the Valley, down to Staines in the South. The region is the first large taste of countryside to the West of London. The Colne Valley Park offers a huge variety of sights and scenery from the Grand Union Canal to our many nature reserves and from our stunning Country Parks to over 60 lakes and water ways.

Colne Valley Regional Park Winter Walks

There is so much to do and explore in this beautiful region, our top attractions include; Chiltern Open Air Museum, Rickmansworth Aquadrome, , The Colne Valley Park Visitor Centre, Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre, Denham Aerodrome, The Ankerwycke Estate (National Trust), Little Britain Lake, Batchworth Lock Canal Centre, as well as our many Country Parks, water sport venues and Nature Reserves. We also have 18 wonderful circular walks which allow you to explore the Regional Park and enjoy all the hidden gems.

Colne Valley Regional Park - Grand Union Canal

Please visit our website for more information on things to do, places to go and our circular walk www.colnevalleypark.org.uk

Follow us to hear all about our latest events, activities and news.
Facebook @colnevalleypark
Twitter @Colne_Valley
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Colne Valley Regional Park Heron

We offer a world of opportunities for people and families to connect with their countryside and get close to nature. Please do come and explore this vibrant Regional Park soon.

Alex Gaffney
PR and Communications Manager
Colne Valley Park Business Centre


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Arts on Prescription

Throughout June, the Museum’s Elliott and Son’s cafe is showcasing a collection of work from the Arts on Prescription groups of Rickmansworth, which is in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire.

Arts on Prescription

 

Since 2017, Three Rivers District Council’s leisure team have been delivering creative projects for adults living with poor mental health as part of their Arts Development Programme. The aims of the weekly sessions are to boost confidence, enable skill learning, encourage social interaction and help people to feel like they are valued and included. Increasing evidence and studies have shown that the arts have an important contribution to make to health and wellbeing; to combat stress, anxiety and other conditions.

Over 12 weeks, the group worked with artist, Anna Schofield, to explore creative collage, art journaling and abstract art techniques, the result being a unique and beautiful collection of artwork reflecting the emotional journey, personal interests and different personalities within the group.

The artwork will be on display in the Museum’s cafe until the end of June.


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