a man in a purple shirt stands presenting on stage. On his left is a tipi tent. On his right is a woman wearing a plaid shirt.

Imagine you had spent your whole life being able to access the great outdoors. You’d grown up on a farm, had taken your children camping holidays in the summer, and in the winter, you spent it skiing in the Cairngorms. 

Now you’ve been diagnosed with dementia, life is getting harder – you’ve had to sell your house, so you don’t have your nice big garden to look after. You no longer have your dog who was the reason to get out for a walk every morning. You needed to move into a home and whilst you appreciate the support you’ve been given, life isn’t as much fun staring at the same four walls day after day.

Gillian Councill and Kenny Wright from Alzheimer Scotland passionately believed that people can live well with dementia. They had set up a group where the people they support could reconnect with nature. 

Their only problem? They needed support to scale their idea so that it could be delivered more widely, improving more lives than ever before.

As part of Alzheimer Scotland’s Intrapreneurship Programme, Gillian and Kenny developed an idea and secured £4,500 to pilot and test their idea. This allowed them to run their outdoor care service all year round, improving on their initial prototype. 

With good evidence of impact and support from the Lens to scale up, they have since gone on to secure a £900,000 contract which will allow them to expand the service across the Highlands and improve the lives of many more people living with dementia.