'After two or three months of the walks I started to feel better. It turned my life around'
In a short space of time Stephen was made redundant and diagnosed with vascular dementia. As someone that had been active all his life, the impact of these events was profound. However, Stephen's life has turned around, thanks to the walking group he organises, which visits places like Lanhydrock. Sharing laughs with his new friends and seeing the beautiful plants and wildlife have helped him to look towards a happier and healthier future.
Turning life around
‘I went to the doctors and I think they referred me to the MRI scanner at Treliske.
I said to him "what's those little white spots on the top of my brain there? Little white dots.” He said "that is the problem. It's vascular dementia."
So I found the advert in the papers - something about nature based walks. We talked about making a group for St Austell.
I thought I wasn't doing anything else. I had absolutely nothing to do and that's absolutely terrible.
I know I had a lot of pain and arthritic joints everywhere and it was hard to get out of bed first thing in the morning, you know?
But after two or three months of the walks I started to feel better, and it turned my life around a bit.'
" It’s just the feeling to go on these local walks and get out and see wildlife. You see all the flowers out in the hedgerows and people walking their dogs. "
'I need this, I kept saying "I need it. I've got have it. I need it".
And, I guess it’s worked for me and it’s worked for the rest of the group. They've been such a fantastic group, you know.
For all of us I think it’s a good thing, because we all meet up on the day, and we can say our gripes and groans and then we have a laugh. Good humour, that’s a lot of it.
It makes you feel a bit happier, you know, to be in a group with people with the same problems.
We make fun of it. It makes everybody laugh, and that’s how we go, that’s how we seem to roll we, we just have fun with each other and we're all great friends. We’ve all got each other’s phone numbers.'
" In Lanhydrock we went in the house and I wouldn’t have dreamed what was in there. "
'It’s such a big old building, you know? I wouldn’t have dreamed what was in there.
But you know I just got to keep…just roll with it. I just roll with what I got.
Just try and help other people out if I can.
To get out and do something and enjoy yourself. That’s what I always say. Go out and enjoy yourself, crack some jokes, just be yourself. That’s the main thing. Just be yourself... that’s what I think anyway.'