Ayrshire College Sport students deliver programme for Alzheimer Scotland

Ayrshire College Sport students deliver programme for Alzheimer Scotland

Students on Sport and Fitness courses at Ayrshire College have finished a training programme with Dementia Friends, allowing them to understand the brain condition and put together a bespoke exercise programme for centre users at Alzheimer Scotland.

Dementia Friends is a national campaign aimed at addressing how people view and talk about dementia.

The Ayrshire College students were keen to get involved in the programme ahead of a six-week placement with Alzheimer Scotland’s centre in Kilmarnock.

Ayrshire College’s work with Alzheimer Scotland is the latest activity as part of the College’s award-winning Connecting Communities initiative, a fully sustainable project to address inequality and to improve the quality of life for those in the Ayrshire community.

David Dougan, Sport and Fitness lecturer at Ayrshire College, said: “The HNC Fitness, Health and Exercise students have learned so much and developed a great deal of experience working with the older adults throughout their placement.

“Firstly, they attended a workshop with Alzheimer Scotland Kilmarnock where the gained a lot of knowledge on conditions such as dementia. This was delivered by Sheena Boyd, the Centre Manager who was such a massive help during the entirety of the partnership.

“Every week the students planned and delivered exercise sessions to meet the needs of the centre users, which helped improve their physical and mental health.”

Sheena Boyd, Alzheimer Scotland Centre Manager, said: “After completing their Dementia Friends Training, we were delighted that the Ayrshire College Sport and Fitness students agreed to devise and deliver a suitable programme for the people we support. 

“Each Monday and Friday over a six-week period, our carers and people with dementia attended the programme which had such a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

“The final week was a celebration event of the programme, and it was great to welcome Kris Boyd and Rose Reilly to our centre where we were presented with sports equipment from the Kris Boyd charity to help continue this programme. 

“We are so grateful to all involved from Ayrshire College and to the Kris Boyd Charity for this fantastic initiative and we cannot wait to see what is next, as keeping active has so many benefits for people living with dementia along with their carers.”

Cherryl Fulton, Active Schools Coordinator at East Ayrshire Vibrant Communities, said: “The partnership with Dementia Scotland has been invaluable for Ayrshire College Community Sports Hub, it has involved a completely different client group for the Sports Hub, but it has been so rewarding for both the students and the service users.

“To see the big smiles on the faces of participants in the Silent Disco was priceless, and it makes me proud to be part of creating these memories for the families. Another great example of inclusive work from the Community Sports Hub, providing targeted work to individual groups in the community.

“We are thankful to the Kris Boyd Charity for providing funding for Boccia kits, this means the participants can continue with the games and sports they have learned with the students.”

Kris Boyd, former footballer and founder of the Kris Boyd Charity, said: “I’m delighted that the charity is able to support such an amazing partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Ayrshire College and Vibrant Communities. I was aware of the good work that was taking place, however, to witness the dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the students was special. To see the difference this initiative makes, to not only the participants, but to the staff and students, is truly amazing. We, as a charity, do what we can to help where we can, and we will continue to support this initiative in the future.”

16 February 2024

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