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Scotland’s walking charity Paths for All has received £7,000 to encourage care home staff and residents to tackle climate change.

The Together for Our Planet funding programme from The National Lottery Community Fund will see Paths for All’s Dementia Friendly Walking team support care home staff and residents across Perth and Kinross to respond to the climate emergency by becoming more sustainable.

Discussions with care home staff identified areas including travel, waste reduction, and single use PPE and plastics as major polluters to be addressed, particularly considering Covid-19 protocols.

Karin Skeet, Activities Coordinator from Kincarrathie House care home in Perth is enthusiastic about the project. She thinks: “This project would be a great way to put reminiscence into practice, benefiting from our resident’s memories of thrift, reusing and recycling everything in their era and passing this on to today’s children in an intergenerational project, to help future generations.”

Carl Greenwood, Senior Development Officer with Paths for All is delighted with the funding. He said: “The Together for our Planet funding will deliver a programme of activity that will bring care home staff and residents together to discuss climate change, identify key areas for action and make changes to care home management practice.”

“For many care homes this will be their first steps taking action to tackle climate change, both personally and care home wide. Working collaboratively with staff and residents we will look to empower them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to sustain long term behaviour changes.”

“Activities that will be undertaken include workshops to discuss climate change, care home audits, establishing Climate Champions, seasonal communications and a team-based active travel staff challenge. Other activities will be developed throughout the year long project.”

Paths for All will work with Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership who provide strategic support to all care homes in the region. Perth and Kinross Council’s Climate Change Officer will also support the project as it actively contributes and supports their Climate Action Plan.

Carolyn Wilson, Falls Service Prevention Manager with Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership is very supportive of this new initiative. She said: “Care home residents have a wealth of life experience and skills to proactively influence the caring for our planet agenda. By sharing their knowledge and ideas across the care home and wider community, including school pupils and families, the residents will experience a sense of achievement that they can still contribute positively to society.”

This project will build on the award-winning Care About Walking programme which has shown positive behaviour change towards walking and physical activities, environmental adaptations and nature connection activities with residents