TAVISTOCK business owner and charity founder, Lynn Roddy, has been championing the benefits of the great outdoors for dementia at a conference in London.

The Enliven Conference, held at the New Armories, explored the work of the Enliven Project, a three-year project based at the University of Exeter which is helping older people living with dementia or cognitive impairment get outdoors and connect with nature.

Lynn is chair of Tavistock Dementia Alliance, co-founder of Cycling Without Age West Devon & East Cornwall and owner of home care company, Home Instead Tavistock & Tamar Valley. She was invited to speak about the work she has been doing with Dartmoor National Park to give greater access to those living with dementia.

Her involvement with the project began when one of the national park team got in touch as they were keen to bring people living with dementia into the park as part of the Enliven Project. With her experience with Cycling Without Age, where people are taken out on specially adapted ‘trishaw’ bikes, Lynn knew it would be possible and helped to coordinate a trishaw cycling event at the Burrator Arboretum where 20 older people were taken on the ride of their life in the beautiful setting.

The event also involved the Tavistock and Okehampton Memory Cafes in a nature activities session, run by Andrew Bailey from Dartmoor National Park. As part of the Enliven Project, research was carried out during the cycling event to measure the impact of participants on being in the great outdoors, which were presented at the conference.

Lynn said, “I was delighted to be asked to get involved in the project as I am an advocate of getting people into the great outdoors. My presentation at the conference centred around partnerships and how by bringing the voluntary and private sectors together, we can really make a difference to people. I am indebted to everyone who got involved and who gave their time and energy to so willingly.”

She thanked organisations and people who were involved, being Dartmoor National Park; the Tavistock and Okey Memory Cafes; Radio Devon; Innovations in Dementia; Widger Spoke Easies and Tavistock Wheelers Cycling Clubs; Okehampton Community & Recreation Association (OCRA); Community Links; Adventure Okehampton; South West Lakes Trust; and Home Instead Charities.

Pictured with Lynn, right, are former long-standing Radio Devon presenter David Fitzgerald ‘Fitz’ and his wife Karen.