Creative Advances offer day care services to people with mild learning difficulties and other disabilities.
The care manager was keen to see if Elaine, 57, a service user, would enjoy walking with Portsmouth Healthy Walks scheme.
Elaine and her key worker already enjoyed regular dog-walks and easily got in to a routine of a weekly walk. Over time they have moved on to longer walks and have also trained as walk leaders.
It's now two years since Elaine started walking and her confidence has really grown. Gradually, Elaine has taken on more responsibility and now independently makes her way to the start of the walk and meets her key worker there. She confidently chats with the walkers before they set off, then she takes the lead, having become familiar with the route and pointing out any dangers to the group and ensuring they cross the road safely.
Elaine has become a popular leader and happily socialises over a cup of tea, sharing jokes and stories at the end of a walk.
She told us:
“The walking group is good fun, gives you a healthy body and I've made new friends."
In 2016, Elaine attended a volunteer awards event and was pleased to be photographed accepting the award on behalf of all the volunteer walk leaders. In the future, it is hoped that Portsmouth Healthy Walks will work in collaboration with Creative Advances to design a walk suited to their special needs group.
Thanks to Creative Advances and Portsmouth Healthy Walks for providing this case study.