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Try Something New

Westquarter and Redding Cricket Club have developed a varied programme of recreational/physical activities for people with dementia and their family carers.

Working collaboratively with Alzheimer Scotland over the past two years to promote positive community connections which has helped people to feel connected and involved in their local community.

“The Try Something New programme has given people the opportunity to participate in cricket, archery, petanque, yoga, drumming and ballroom dancing. Involvement in these activities has increased social, mental and physical well-being of the group members by valuing their contribution and increased awareness of both dementia and how to live well with the condition.” – Justine Davidson, Dementia Advisor


The club got in touch with Alzheimer Scotland in late 2018 as they were keen to find out what Alzheimer Scotland offers in the Braes area of Falkirk.

From the outset we very enthusiastic about working in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to make best use of our facilities and connections to build community capacity. Both the club and Alzheimer Scotland are passionate to see people with dementia being involved within their local community.

Through the club, which is a Community Interest Company, we have access to a wide range of local contacts who have skills in other activities. Other groups were contacted and coordinated by the club these groups very quickly came on board to offer their skills to our dementia/carer group.

After a trial in November 2018 it was decided to offer a monthly programme of activities covering one or two different activities each month and importantly finishing with refreshments and a chat. 

It was decided to call this programme ‘Try Something New’ as for many of the members the activities offered were completely new to them

Justine organised Dementia Friends sessions which were delivered to the coaches and volunteers involved in this programme so that they had more awareness about dementia and how to support people with dementia.

Running The Group

The club has funded all the costs of hiring the sports centre (in the colder months), refreshments and a small fee was paid to some of the people delivering the sessions mainly to cover travel expenses. During the warmer months there are activities at the club either inside or outside to make use of the facilities the club currently has. Due to the nature of the current facilities it is not possible to run activities inside at the club outside the summer months.

The sessions are on the last Monday of every month and offer activities from 10am-12pm with 14 people regularly attending with some of them only attending this group in terms of contact with Alzheimer Scotland.  The attendees range in age from 58yrs to late 80’s.

Activities are adapted, where required, to meet the needs of our group offering a fail free and safe environment with soft balls for cricket, soft suction arrows for archery and chairs for yoga..

Coaches also ensure that they offer a practical demonstration of the activity and offer 1:1 guidance throughout. In some activities, a competitive element between teams encourages the group to use team work skills.

Activities done by the group to date include:

It has been really rewarding to see the personal development of those who took part in the activities displaying their strengths, potential and willingness to learn new skills. Some members have gained such pleasure from some of the activities that they wish to pursue some of these activities out with the session, and I know at least one member who has downloaded a yoga app onto their phone.” – Justine Davidson, Dementia Advisor

In addition, the cricket club hosted Falkirk’s first Dementia Awareness Week event with local dementia advisors giving people the chance to try some of the activities delivered so far as part of the Try Something New group.


In 2019 the club were nominated for the Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative by Alzheimer Scotland at Scottish Dementia Awards.

From all the entries the group were selected as one of only three finalists and invited to attend the awards ceremony to help celebrate the achievements of those outstanding individuals, groups and organisations making a difference for people living with dementia and their families across health, social service and community settings.

The awards took place at the Raddison Blue Hotel in Glasgow with the club hiring a minibus to take some of the group’s members, two directors of the club and two employees of Alzheimer Scotland to the event.

Although the group did not win everyone was extremely proud of being chosen as a finalist in the group’s first year!

Dementia Awards min