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Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) and Scottish Forestry have been shortlisted in Scotland’s Dementia Awards and named as a finalist in the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative category for their Woodland Activity Programme in the Forth Valley. Winners will be announced on 18 September at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.

Spanning 10 weeks, the Woodland Activity Programme helps those with early stage dementia visit a woodland every week to take part in a variety of woodland crafts and activities, offering participants a chance to increase their self-confidence and feel engaged with the community.

The programme started in 2014 at Callendar Wood, Falkirk, and was developed using research on the benefits of being within a woodland surrounding. Scotland’s Dementia Awards, a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council, celebrate the inspirational achievements of those outstanding people making a difference for people living with dementia and their families across health, social service and community settings.

Finalists are all now in the running for a prestigious award.Gordon Harper, FLS Community Ranger running the programme said: “We are very proud that the Woodland Activity Programme has received this recognition. The programme focuses on what patients can do rather than what they aren’t able to, and offers an increased sense of independence and confidence in a naturally stimulating woodland setting. “The programme explores different ways of providing care with a real emphasis on empowerment and the best possible quality of life. It offers a positive experience for people with dementia, their carers’ and the local community.”

Henry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “Scotland’s Dementia Awards celebrate the people and projects working tirelessly to improve care and support for people living with dementia and their families throughout our communities and across the health, social care and education sectors.

“On behalf of our awards partners, I want to thank everyone who entered the awards. It has been our honour once again to see so many tremendous creative and innovative collaborations taking place. Many of these initiatives are significantly developing and improving practice, ensuring that the rights of people with dementia and their families to receive the best possible quality of care and support are being delivered. Others are helping to break down and tackle social barriers, unifying our communities and creating a dementia-friendly Scotland. We look forward to celebrating the work of all our finalists and winners in September.”

With five categories, Scotland’s Dementia Awards recognises the innovative and ambitious dementia projects making a big difference to people living with dementia, including: Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative, Best Community Support Initiative, Best Educational Initiative, Best Hospital Care Initiative and Best Care Home Practice Improvement.

Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge faced by society today. There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and it is now estimated that 20,000 people every year will be diagnosed with the condition by 2020. For further information about Scotland’s Dementia Awards please visit If you have any further queries about the awards event please contact us on Tel: 0141 410 0104 or email Join the conversation at #SDAs19.