Living in the moment

Walking a different route every time

Eileen heard about Move the Masses through a friend. She had done lots of volunteering before and wanted to get back into it. Her friend had an idea about supporting people to get out and walk and when she looked it up online, she found Move the Masses were already doing it in her hometown of York.

 

So they both signed up. 

 

Eileen was paired up with a man who lives just 10 minutes from her in the South Bank area. He is living with dementia which affects his speech, but not his sense of humour or his enjoyment from being out and about.

 

They have been walking for five weeks now and each time he chooses to do a different route, which can be a challenge.

“I have no sense of direction so at times neither of us know where we are going, but it’s quite exciting really!

Eileen – Move Mate Volunteer

Before being paired up, Eileen had no experience of dementia and didn’t know what to expect. She did know, however, that her beneficiary loved walking and regularly walked with his wife, so the past time was important to him.

 

She received some dementia training from Move the Masses, which she found very helpful and realised how much her walking buddy was living in the moment.

“We were looking at a specific tree when he asked very directly what kind of tree it was. We looked it up on my phone and he was pleased to know.

Eileen – Move Mate Volunteer

Her beneficiary’s wife has told Eileen that he asks about her during the week and looks forward to their walks together regardless of the fact that he doesn’t remember what they have done from each week to the next. 

 

Eileen feels very positive about her volunteering.

 

Although she has friends that she can get out for a walk with, she likes having the structure in place to walk for a purpose at a specific time of the week.

“It’s good for me and good for him. I am pretty sure it is good for his wife too.

Eileen – Move Mate Volunteer

She also has benefitted from the different Move the Masses training sessions she has done in dementia, autism and anxiety. She feels she understands better how to be clear and direct when she and her beneficiary talk, and not to over-crowd his thoughts. 

 

Eileen feels lucky to be a walking buddy, and her friend is looking forward to be paired up with someone very soon too.

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