‘Friendly Parks for All Summer’ programme launched by Richmond Council

Richmond Council launched a ‘Friendly Parks for All Summer’ programme to make parks more accessible for dementia patients and their carers, as well as people with limited mobility, and help them spend more time outdoors.

Activities will take place at Barnes Green, Ham Green and Heathfield Recreation Ground between 10:30am to 12:30pm on various days until November.

This scheme is part of Richmond Council’s attempts  to develop a dementia-friendly community to make the borough accessible for everyone.

Councillor Martin Elengorn, cabinet member for environment, planning and sustainability said: “The parks are a major amenity for people with illnesses.”

He described how the parks have a positive effect on those suffering from both mental and physical illness, effects which are often overlooked.

Mr Elengorn said: “Most people are reassured by trees and flowers, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.”

He outlined some of the measures the council had already taken to improve access for those who may have trouble visiting parks.

These include making sure there are no difficult steps that people have to climb, ensuring park entrances are clean and have no obstacles and fitting park benches to ensure there are places for visitors to sit.

Mr Elengorn said: “We need to think of each park from the point of view of a disabled person.”

It is hoped the scheme will encourage more people to spend time outdoors in order to improve the health and wellbeing of those with limited access to outdoor spaces.

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