Exeter COSY routes features on Songs of Praise ahead of Dementia Action Week
The hills, valleys and viewpoints around Exeter get a national television spotlight this month on the BBC’s Songs of Praise, in a programme coming from the city on Sunday 16 May 2021.
Hosted by presenter Aled Jones, one of several projects chosen for filming was Exeter COSY Routes, launched last year by the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA).
The Cosy project is a mapped 26.2-mile marathon distance route around the city, comprising eight shorter circular routes of between four and seven miles.
It was created by keen runner and walker Jo Earlam, a board member of the Alliance, and with experience of dementia through three generations of family. Both her late grandmothers and father Bernard had dementia in later life and now her husband John is living with the disease.
Gina Awad, founder and lead of EDAA and Jo connected several years ago through their shared passion for making a difference in the lives of people with dementia and their families as well as raising awareness and inspiring action.
In September 2020, Gina and Jo got together to reflect on ideas for a new initiative that could be accessible for everyone as well as people with dementia and their families and would involve the outdoors and opportunity to enjoy nature. Shortly after Exeter COSY routes was borne.
Varying from four to seven miles, these routes all have their own character, points of interest, history and are part of the unfolding and growing picture of the city. Each route has a dementia accessible suggestion, which may be a short stroll, picnic stop or viewpoint.
The Alliance is able to share the routes just in time for Dementia Action week on Monday 17 May.
An added bonus was the Alliance receiving a recent approach by Songs of Praise who were keen to share Jo’s inspiration behind COSY routes. You can see Jo, her husband John and Adrian and Jill living with dementia feature on the programme.
Tony Husband, Cartoonist for Private Eye has collaborated with the Alliance again and created a number of unique cartoons to accompany a significant point of interest on each of the eight routes.
You can see the EDAA Exeter COSY routes feature on Songs of Praise at 1.15pm on Sunday 16 May or catch up on BBC iPlayer at your leisure.
Take a look at Exeter COSY routes video story.